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Lv T. 11. HUXLEY 




?l o n to o n 




in the KVEHSLEY bEKiEb, 1S91. 
llt l>rinttd, IVJj. 


TITE discourse on " Evolution and Ethics," re- 
printod in the first half of the present volume, was 
delivered before the University of Oxford, as the 
second of the annual lectures founded by Mr. 
Romanes : whose name I may not write without 
deploring the untimely death, in the flower of his 
age, of a friend endeared to me, as to so many 
others, by his kindly nature ; and justly valued by 
all his colleagues for his powers of investigation 
and his zeal for the advancement of knowledge. 
I well remember, when Mr. Romanes early work 
came into my hands, as one of the secretaries 
of the Royal Society, how much I rejoiced in 
the accession to the ranks of the little army of 
workers in science of a recruit so well qualified 
to take a high place among us. 

It was at my friend s urgent request that I 
agreed to undertake the lecture, should I be 
honoured with an official proposal to give it, though 
I confess not without misgivings, if only on 


account of the serious fatigue and hoarseness 
which public speaking has for some years caused 
me ; while I knew that it would be my fate to 
follow the most accomplished and facile orator of 
our time, whose indomitable youth is in no matter 
more manifest than in his penetrating and musi 
cal voice. A certain saying about comparisons 
intruded itself somewhat importunately. 

And even if I disregarded the weakness of my 
body in the matter of voice, and that of my mind 
in the matter of vanity, there remained a third 
difficulty. For several reasons, my attention, 
during a number of years, has been much directed 
to the bearing of modern scientific thought on the 
problems of morals and of politics, and I did not 
care to be diverted from that topic. Moreover, I 
thought it the most important and the worthiest 
which, at the present time, could engage the atten 
tion even of an ancient and renowned University. 

But it is a condition of the Romanes foundation 
that the lecturer shall abstain from treating of 
either Religion or Politics; and it appeared to me 
that, more than most, perhaps, I was bound to 
act, not merely up to the letter, but in the spirit, 
of that prohibition. Yet Ethical Science is, on 
all sides, so entangled with Religion and Politics, 
that the lecturer who essays to touch the former 
without coming into contact with either of the 
latter, needs all the dexterity of an egg-dancer ; 
and may even discover that his sense of clearness 


and his sense of propriety come into conflict, by 
no means to the advantage of the former. 

I had little notion of the real magnitude of 
these difficulties when I set about my task ; but I 
am consoled for my pains and anxiety by observing 
that none of the multitudinous criticisms with 
which I have been favoured and, often, instructed, 
find fault with me on the score of having strayed 
out of bounds. 

Among my critics there are not a few to whom 
I feel deeply indebted for the careful attention 
which they have given to the exposition thus 
hampered ; and further weakened, I am afraid, by 
my forgetfulness of a maxim touching lectures of 
a popular character, which has descended to me 
from that prince of lecturers, Mr. Faraday. He 
was once asked by a beginner, called upon to 
address a highly select and cultivated audience, 
what he might suppose his hearers to know 
already. Whereupon the past master of the art of 
exposition emphatically replied " Nothing ! " 

To my shame as a retired veteran, who has all 
his life profited by this great precept of lec 
turing strategy, I forgot all about it just when 
it would have been most useful. I was fatuous 
enough to imagine that a number of propositions, 
which I thought established, and which, in fact, I 
had advanced without challenge on former oc 
casions, needed no repetition. 

I have endeavoured to repair my error by 


prefacing the lecture with some matter chiefh 7 
elementary or recapitulatory to which I have 
given the title of " Prolegomena." I wish I could 
have hit upon a heading of less pedantic aspect 
which would have served my purpose ; and if it 
be urged that the new building looks over large 
for the edifice to which it is added, I can only 
plead the precedent of the ancient architects, 
who always made the -adytum the smallest part 
of the temple. 

If I had attempted to reply in full to the 
criticisms to which I have referred, I know not 
what extent of ground would have been covered 
by my pronaos. All I have endeavoured to do, 
at present, is to remove that which seems to 
have proved a stumbling-block to many namely, 
the apparent paradox that ethical nature, while 
born of cosmic nature, is necessarily at enmity 
with its parent. Unless the arguments set forth 
in the Prolegomena, in the simplest language at 
my command, have some flaw which I am unable 
to discern, this seeming paradox is a truth, as 
great as it is plain, the recognition of which 
is fundamental for the ethical philosopher. 

We cannot do without our inheritance from the 
forefathers who were the puppets of the cosmic 
process ; the society which renounces it must 
be destroyed from without. Still less can we do 
with too much of it ; the society in which it 
dominates must be destroyed from within. 


The motive of the drama of human life is 
the necessity, laid upon every man who comes 
into the world, of discovering the mean between 
self-assertion and self-restraint suited to his 
character and his circumstances. And the eter 
nally tragic aspect of the drama lies in this : 
that the problem set before us is one the ele 
ments of which can be but imperfectly known, 
and of which even an approximately right solution 
rarely presents itself, until that stern critic, aged 
experience, has been furnished with ample justifi 
cation for venting his sarcastic humour upon the 
irreparable blunders we have already made. 

I have reprinted the letters on the " Darkest 
England" scheme, published in the "Times "of 
December 1890 and January 1801; and subse 
quently issued, with additions, as a pamphlet, under 
the title of" Social Diseases and Worse Remedies;" 
because, although the clever attempt to rush 
the country on behalf of that scheme has been 
balked, Mr. Booth s standing army remains afoot, 
retaining all the capacities for mischief which are 
inherent in its constitution. I am desirous that 
this fact should be kept steadily in view ; and 
that the moderation of the clamour of the drums 
and trumpets should not lead us to forget the 
existence of a force, which, in bad hands, may, at 
any time, be used for bad purposes. 

In 1892, a Cpinmittee was " formed for the pur- 


pose of investigating the manner in which the 
moneys, subscribed in response to the appeal made 
in the book entitled ( In Darkest England and the 
Way out, have been expended." The members of 
this body were gentlemen in whose competency 
and equity every one must have complete con 
fidence ; and in December 1892 they published 
a report in which they declare that, " with the 
exception of the sums expended on the barracks 
at Hadleigh," the moneys in question have been 
" devoted only to the objects and expended in the 
methods set out in that appeal, and to and in no 

Nevertheless, their final conclusion runs as 
follows : " (4) That whilst the invested property, 
real and personal, resulting from such Appeal is 
so vested and controlled by the Trust of the Deed 
of January 30th, 1891, that any application of it 
to purposes other than those declared in the deed 
by any General of the Salvation Army would 
amount to a breach of trust, and would subject him 
to the proceedings of a civil and criminal character, 
before mentioned in the Keport, adequate legal 
safeguards do not at present exist to prevent the 
misapplication of such property" 

The passage I have italicised forms part of a 
document dated December 19th, 1892. It follows, 
that, even after the Deed of January 30th, 1891, 
was executed, " adequate legal safeguards " " to 
prevent the misapplication of the property " did 


not exist. What then was the state of things, 
up to a week earlier, that is on January 22nd, 
1891, when my twelfth and last letter appeared in 
the " Times " ? A better justification for what I 
have said about the want of adequate security for 
the proper administration of the funds intrusted 
to Mr. Booth could not be desired, unless it be that 
which is to be found in the following passages of 
the Report (pp. 36 and 37) : 

" It is possible that a General may be forget 
ful of his duty, and sell property and appropriate 
the proceeds to his own use, or to meeting the 
general liabilities of the Salvation Army. As 
matters now stand, he, and he alone, would have 
control over such a sale. Against such possibilities 
it appears to the Committee to be reasonable that 
some check should be imposed." 

Once more let it be remembered that this 
opinion, given under the hand of Sir Henry 
James, was expressed by the Committee, with the 
Trust Deed of 1891, which has been so sedulously 
flaunted before the public, in full view. 

The Committee made a suggestion for the 
improvement of this very unsatisfactory state of 
things ; but the exact value set upon it by the 
suggestors should be carefully considered (p. 37). 

" The Committee are fully aware that if the 
views thus expressed are carried out, the safe 
guards and checks created will not be sufficient 
for all purposes absolutely to prevent possible 


dealing with the property and moneys, inconsistent 
with the purposes to which they are intended to 
be devoted." 

In fact, they are content to express the very 
modest hope that " if the suggestion made be 
acted upon, some hindrance will thereby be placed 
in the way of any one acting dishonestly in 
respect of the disposal of the property and 
moneys referred to." 

I do not know, and, under the circumstances, I 
cannot say I much care, whether the suggestions 
of the Committee have, or have not, been acted 
upon. Whether or not, the fact remains, that an 
unscrupulous " General " will have a pretty free 
hand, notwithstanding " some " hindrance. 

Thus, the judgment of the highly authoritative, 
and certainly not hostile, Committee of 1892, 
upon the issues with which they concerned them 
selves is hardly such as to inspire enthusiastic 
confidence. And it is further to be borne in 
mind that they carefully excluded from their 
duties " any examination of the principles, govern 
ment, teaching, or methods of the Salvation 
Army as a religious organisation, or of its 
affairs" except so far as they related to the 
administration of the moneys collected by the 
" Darkest England " appeal. 

Consequently, the most important questions 
discussed in my letters were not in any way 
pouched by the Committee. Even if their report 


had been far more favourable to the " Darkest 
England " scheme than it is ; if it had really 
assured the contributors that the funds raised 
were fully secured against malversation ; the 
objections, on social arid political grounds, to Mr. 
Booth s despotic organization, with its thousands 
of docile satellites pledged to blind obedience, 
set forth in the letters, would be in no degree 
weakened. The " sixpennyworth of good " would 
still be outweighed by the M shilling s wort h of 
harm " ; if indeed the relative worth, or unworth, 
of the latter should not be rated in pounds rather 
than in shillings. 

What would one not give for the opinion of the 
financial members of the Committee about the 
famous Bank ; and that of the legal experts about 
the proposed " tribunes of the people " ? 

July 189-1. 










Preface 188 

The Struggle for Existence in Human Society .... 195 

Letters to the Times r . 237 

Legal Opinions 312 

The Articles of War of the Salvation Army 321 




IT may be safely assumed that, two thousand 
years ago, before Csesar set foot in southern 
Britain, the whole country-side visible from the 
windows of the room in which I write, was in 
what is called " the state of nature." Except, it may 
be, by raising a few sepulchral mounds, such as 
those which still, here and there, break the flowing 
contours of the downs, man s hands had made no 
mark upon it ; and the thin veil of vegetation 
which overspread the broad-backed heights and 
the shelving sides of the coombs was unaffected 
by his industry. The native grasses and weeds, 
the scattered patches of gorse, contended with one 
another for the possession of the scanty surface 
soil ; they fought against the droughts of summer, 



the frosts of winter, and the furious gales which 
swept, with unbroken force, now from the Atlantic, 
and now from the North Sea, at all times of the 
year ; they filled up, as they best might, the gaps 
made in their ranks by all sorts of underground 
and overground animal ravagers. One year with 
another, an average population, the floating balance 
of the unceasing struggle for existence among the 
indigenous plants, maintained itself. It is as 
little to be doubted, that an essentially similar 
state of nature prevailed, in this region, for many 
thousand years before the coming of Ca3sar ; and 
there is no assignable reason for denying that it 
might continue to exist through an equally pro 
longed futurity, except for the intervention of man. 

Reckoned by our customary standards of 
duration, the native vegetation, like the " ever 
lasting hills " which it clothes, seems a type of 
permanence. The little Amarella Gentians, which 
abound in some places to-day, are the descendants 
of those that were trodden underfoot by the pre 
historic savages who have left their flint tools about, 
here and there ; and they followed ancestors 
which, in the climate of the glacial epoch, probably 
flourished better than they do now. Compared 
with the long past of this humble plant, all the 
history of civilized men is but an episode. 

Yet nothing is more certain than that, measured 
by the liberal scale of time-keeping of the universe, 
this present state of nature, however it may seem 


to have gone and to go on for ever, is but a 
fleeting phase of her infinite variety ; merely the 
last of the series of changes which the earth s sur 
face has undergone in the course of the millions of 
years of its existence. Turn back a square foot of 
the thin turf, and the solid foundation of the land, 
exposed in cliffs of chalk five hundred feet high on 
the adjacent shore, yields full assurance of a time 
when the sea covered the site of the " everlasting 
hills " ; and when the vegetation of what land lay 
nearest, was as different from the present Flora of 
the Sussex downs, as that of Central Africa now is. 1 
No less certain is it that, between the time during 
which the chalk was formed and that at which the 
original turf came into existence, thousands of 
centuries elapsed, in the course of which, the state 
of nature of the ages during which the chalk was 
deposited, passed into that which now is, by 
changes so slow that, in the coming and going of 
the generations of men, had such witnessed them, 
the contemporary conditions would have seemed 
to be unchanging and unchangeable. 

But it is also certain that, before the deposition 
of the chalk, a vastly longer period had elapsed, 
throughout which it is easy to follow the traces 
of the same process of ceaseless modification and 
of the internecine struggle for existence of living 
things ; and that even when we can get no further 

1 See "On apiece of Chalk" in the preceding volume of these 
Essays (vol. viii. p. 1). 

B 2 


back, it is not because there is any reason to think 
we have reached the beginning, but because the 
trail of the most ancient life remains hidden, or 
has become obliterated. 

Thus that state of nature of the world of plants, 
which we began by considering, is far from possess 
ing the attribute of permanence. Rather its very 
essence is impermanence. It may have lasted 
twenty or thirty thousand years, it may last for 
twenty or thirty thousand years more, without 
obvious change ; but, as surely as it has followed 
upon a very different state, so it will be followed 
by an equally different condition. That which 
endures is not one or another association of living 
forms, but the process of which the cosmos is the 
product, and of which these are among the transi 
tory expressions. And in the living world, one of 
the most characteristic features of this cosmic pro 
cess is the struggle for existence, the competition 
of each with all, the result of which is the selection, 
that is to say, the survival of those forms which, 
on the whole, are best adapted to the conditions 
which at any period obtain ; and which are, there 
fore, in that respect, and only in that respect, the 
fittest. 1 The acme reached by the cosmic process 

1 That every theory of evolution must be consistent not 
merely with progressive development, but with indefinite 
persistence in the same condition and with retrogressive modifi 
cation, is a point which I have insisted upon repeatedly from 
the year 1862 till now. See Collected Essays, vol. ii. pp. 461-89 ; 
vol. iii. p. 33 ; vol. viii. p. 304. In the address on "Geological 


in the vegetation of the downs is seen in the 
turf, with its weeds and gorse. Under the con 
ditions, they have come out of the struggle 
victorious ; and, by surviving, have proved that 
they are the fittest to survive. 

That the state of nature, at any time, is a 
temporary phase of a process of incessant change, 
which has been going on for innumerable ages, 
appears to me to be a proposition as well estab 
lished as any in modern history. Paleontology 
assures us, in addition, that the ancient philo 
sophers who, with less reason, held the same 
doctrine, erred in supposing that the phases 
formed a cycle, exactly repeating the past, exactly 
foreshadowing the future, in their rotations. On 
the contrary, it furnishes us with conclusive 
reasons for thinking that, if every link in the 
ancestry of these humble indigenous plants had 
been preserved and were accessible to us, the whole 
would present a converging series of forms of 
gradually diminishing complexity, until, at some 
period in the history of the earth, far more remote 
than any of which organic remains have yet been 
discovered, they would merge in those low groups 
among which the boundaries between animal and 
vegetable life become effaced. 1 

Contemporaneity and Persistent Types" (1862), the paleonto- 
logical proofs of this proposition were, I believp, first set 

1 "On the Bonier Territory between the Animal and the 
Vegetable Kingdoms," Essays, vol. viii. p. 162. 


The word " evolution," now generally applied to 
the cosmic process, has had a singular history, and 
is used in various senses. 1 Taken in its popular 
signification it means progressive development, 
that is, gradual change from a condition of 
relative uniformity to one of relative complexity ; 
but its connotation has been widened to include 
the phenomena of retrogressive metamorphosis, 
that is, of progress from a condition of relative 
complexity to one of relative uniformity. 

As a natural process, of the same character as 
the development of a tree from its seed, or of a 
fowl from its egg, evolution excludes creation and 
all other kinds of supernatural intervention. As 
the expression of a fixed order, every stage of 
which is the effect of causes operating according 
to definite rules, the conception of evolution no 
less excludes that of chance. It is very desirable 
to remember that evolution is not an explanation 
of the cosmic process, but merely a generalized 
statement of the method and results of that pro 
cess. And, further, that, if there is proof that 
the cosmic process was set going by any agent, 
then that agent will be the creator of it and of all 
its products, although supernatural intervention 
may remain strictly excluded from its further 

So far as that limited revelation of the nature of 
things, which we call scientific knowledge, has 
1 See "Evolution in Biology," Essays, vol. ii. p. 187. 


yet gone, it tends, with constantly increasing 
emphasis, to the belief that, not merely the 
world of plants, but that of animals ; not merely 
living things, but the whole fabric of the earth ; 
not merely our planet, but the whole solar 
system ; not merely our star and its satellites, 
but the millions of similar bodies which bear 
witness to the order which pervades boundless 
space, and has endured through boundless time ; 
are all working out their predestined courses of 

With none of these have I anything to do, at 
present, except with that exhibited by the forms 
of life which tenant the earth. All plants and 
animals exhibit the tendency to vary, the causes 
of which have yet to be ascertained ; it is the 
tendency of the conditions of life, at any given 
time, while favouring the existence of the varia 
tions best adapted to them, to oppose that of the 
rest and thus to exercise selection ; and all 
living things tend to multiply without limit, 
while the means of support are limited ; the 
obvious cause of which is the production of 
offspring more numerous than their progenitors, 
but with equal expectation of life in the actuarial 
sense. Without the first tendency there could 
be no evolution. Without the second, there 
would be no good reason why one variation should 
disappear and another take its place ; that is to 
say, there would be no selection. Without the 


third, the struggle for existence, the agent of the 
selective process in the state of nature, would 
vanish. 1 

Granting the existence of these tendencies, all 
the known facts of the history of plants and of 
animals may be brought into rational correlation. 
And this is more than can be said for any other 
hypothesis that I know of. Such hypotheses, for 
example, as that of the existence of a primitive, 
orderless chaos ; of a passive and sluggish eternal 
matter moulded, with but partial success, by 
archetypal ideas ; of a brand-new world-stuff 
suddenly created and swiftly shaped by a super 
natural power; receive no encouragement, but 
the contrary, from our present knowledge. That 
our earth may once have formed part of a nebu 
lous cosmic magma is certainly possible, indeed 
seems highly probable ; but there is no reason to 
doubt that order reigned there, as completely as 
amidst what we regard as the most finished works 
of nature or of man. 2 The faith which is born of 
knowledge, finds its object in an eternal order, 
bringing forth ceaseless change, through end 
less time, in endless space ; the manifesta 
tions of the cosmic energy alternating between 
phases of potentiality and phases of explication. 
It may be that, as Kant suggests, 3 every cosmic 

1 Collected Essays, vol. ii. passim. 

2 Ibid., vol. iv. p. 138 ; vol. v. pp. 71-73. 

3 Ibid., vol. viii. p. 321. 


magma predestined to evolve into a new world, 
has been the no less predestined end of a van 
ished predecessor. 


Three or four years have elapsed since the state 
of nature, to which I have referred, was brought 
to an end, so far as a small patch of the soil is 
concerned, by the intervention of man. The 
patch was cut off from the rest by a wall ; within 
the area thus protected, the native vegetation was, 
as far as possible, extirpated ; while a colony of 
strange plants was imported and set down in its 
place. In short, it was made into a garden. At 
the present time, this artificially treated area 
presents an aspect extraordinarily different from 
that of so much of the land as remains in the 
state of nature, outside the wall. Trees, shrubs, 
and herbs, many of them appertaining to the 
state of nature of remote parts of the globe, 
abound and flourish. Moreover, considerable 
quantities of vegetables, fruits, and flowers are 
produced, of kinds which neither now exist, nor 
have ever existed, except under conditions such as 
obtain in the garden ; and which, therefore, are as 
much works of the art of man as the frames and 
glass-houses in which some of them are raised. 
That the "state of Art," thus created in the 
state of nature by man, is sustained by 
and dependent on him, would at once become 


.apparent, if the watchful supervision of the gar 
dener were withdrawn, and the antagonistic influ 
ences of the general cosmic process were no longer 
sedulously warded off, or counteracted. The walls 
and gates would decay ; quadrupedal and bipedal 
intruders would devour and tread down the useful 
and beautiful plants ; birds, insects, blight, and 
mildew would work their will ; the seeds of the 
native plants, carried by winds or other agencies, 
would immigrate, and in virtue of their long- 
earned special adaptation to the local conditions, 
these despised native weeds would soon choke 
their choice exotic rivals. A century or two 
hence, little beyond the foundations of the wall 
and of the houses and frames would be left, in 
evidence of the victory of the cosmic powers at 
work in the state of nature, over the temporary 
obstacles to their supremacy, set up by the art of 
the horticulturist. 

It will be admitted that the garden is as much 
a work of art, 1 or artifice, as anything that can be 
mentioned. The energy localised in certain human 
bodies, directed by similarly localised intellects, 
has produced a collocation of other material bodies 
which could not be brought about in the state of 
nature. The same proposition is true of all the 

1 The sense of the term "Art" is becoming narrowed; 
"work of Art" to most people means a picture, a statue, or a 
piece of bijouterie; by way of compensation "artist" has in 
cluded in its wide embrace cooks and ballet girls, no less than 
painters and sculptors. 


works of man s hands, from a flint implement to 
a cathedral or a chronometer ; and it is because 
it is true, that we call these things artificial, 
term them works of art, or artifice, by way of 
distinguishing them from the products of the cosmic 
process, working outside man, which we call 
natural, or works of nature. The distinction thus 
drawn between the works of nature and those of 
man, is universally recognised ; and it is, as I 
conceive, both useful and justifiable. 


No doubt, it may be properly urged that 
the operation of human energy and intelligence, 
which has brought into existence and maintains 
the garden, by what I have called " the horticul 
tural process," is, strictly speaking, part and parcel 
of the cosmic process. And no one could more 
readily agree to that proposition than I. In fact, 
T do not know that any one has taken more 
p:iins than I have, during the last thirty years, to 
insist upon the doctrine, so much reviled in the 
early part of that period, that man, physical, 
intellectual, and moral, is as much a part of 
MM hire, as purely a product of the cosmic process, 
as the humblest weed. 1 

But if, following up this admission, it is urged 

1 See "Man s Place in Nature," Collected Essays, vol. vii., and 
"On the Struggle for Existence in Human Society "(1888), below, 


that, such being the case, the cosmic process can 
not be in antagonism with that horticultural pro 
cess which is part of itself I can only reply, that 
if the conclusion that the two are antagonistic 
is logically absurd, I am sorry for logic, because, 
as we have seen, the fact is so. The garden is in 
the same position as every other work of man s 
art ; it is a result of the cosmic process working 
through and by human energy and intelligence ; 
and, as is the case with every other artificial 
thing set up in the state of nature, the influ 
ences of the latter are constantly tending to break 
it down and destroy it. No doubt, the Forth bridge 
and an ironclad in the offing, are, in ultimate re 
sort, products of the cosmic process ; as much so as 
the river which flows under the one, or the sea- 
water on which the other floats. Nevertheless, 
every breeze strains the bridge a little, every tide 
does something to weaken its foundations ; every 
change of temperature alters the adjustment of 
its parts, produces friction and consequent wear 
and tear. From time to time, the bridge must be 
repaired, just as the ironclad must go into dock ; 
simply because nature is always tending to re 
claim that which her child, man, has borrowed 
from her and has arranged in combinations which 
are not those favoured by the general cosmic 

Thus, it is not only true that the cosmic 
energy, working through man upon a portion of the 


plant world, opposes the same energy as it works 
through the state of nature, but a similar an 
tagonism is everywhere manifest between the 
artificial and the natural. Even in the state of 
nature itself, what is the struggle for existence 
but the antagonism of the results of the cosmic 
process in the region of life, one to another ? x 


Not only is the state of nature hostile to the 
state of art of the garden ; but the principle of 
the horticultural process, by which the latter is 
created and maintained, is antithetic to that of the 
cosmic process. The characteristic feature of the 
latter is the intense and unceasing competition of 
the struggle for existence. The characteristic of 
the former is the elimination of that struggle, by 
the removal of the conditions which give rise to 
it. The tendency of the cosmic process is to bring 
about the adjustment of the forms of plant life 
to the current conditions ; the tendency of the 
horticultural process is the adjustment of the con 
ditions to the needs of the forms of plant life 
which the gardener desires to raise. 

The cosmic process uses unrestricted raultiplica- 

1 Or to put the case still more simply. "When a man lays 
hold of the two ends of a piece of string and pulls them, with 
intent to break it, the right arm is certainly exerted in 
antagonism to the left arm ; yet both arms derive their energy 
from the same original source. 


tion as the means whereby hundreds compete for 
the place and nourishment adequate for one : it 
employs frost and drought to cut off the weak 
and unfortunate ; to survive, there is need not 
only of strength, but of flexibility and of good 

The gardener, on the other hand, restricts 
multiplication ; provides that each plant shall 
have sufficient space and nourishment ; protects 
from frost and drought ; and, in every other way, 
attempts to modify the conditions, in such a 
manner as to bring about the survival of those 
forms which most nearly approach the standard 
of the useful, or the beautiful, which he has in 
his mind. 

If the fruits and the tubers, the foliage and 
the flowers thus obtained, reach, or sufficiently 
approach, that ideal, there is no reason why the 
status quo attained should not be indefinitely pro 
longed. So long as the state of nature remains 
approximately the same, so long will the energy 
and intelligence which created the garden suffice to 
maintain it. However, the limits within which this 
mastery of man over nature can be maintained are 
narrow. If the conditions of the cretaceous epoch 
returned, I fear the most skilful of gardeners would 
have to give up the cultivation of apples and 
gooseberries ; while, if those of the glacial period 
once again obtained, open asparagus beds would 
be superfluous, and the training of fruit trees 


against the most favourable of south walls, a waste 
of time and trouble. 

But it is extremely important to note that, the 
state of nature remaining the same, if the pro 
duce does not satisfy the gardener, it may 
be made to approach his ideal more closely. 
Although the struggle for existence may be at 
end, the possibility of progress remains. In dis 
cussions on these topics, it is often strangely 
forgotten that the essential conditions of the 
modification, or evolution, of living things are 
variation and hereditary transmission. Selection 
is the means by which certain variations are 
favoured and their progeny preserved. But the 
struggle for existence is only one of the means 
by which selection may be effected. The endless 
varieties of cultivated flowers, fruits, roots, tubers, 
and bulbs are not products of selection by means 
of the struggle for existence, but of direct selec 
tion, in view of an ideal of utility or beauty. 
Amidst a multitude of plants, occupying the same 
station and subjected to the same conditions, in 
the garden, varieties arise. The varieties tending 
iu a given direction are preserved, and the rest 
are destroyed. And the same process takes prace 
among the varieties until, for example, the wild 
kale becomes a cabbage, or the wild Viola tricolor 
a prize pansy. 


The process of colonization presents analogies 
to the formation of a garden which are highly 
instructive. Suppose a shipload of English 
colonists sent to form a settlement, in such a 
country as Tasmania was in the middle of the last 
century. On landing, they find themselves in the 
midst of a state of nature, widely different from 
that left behind them in everything but the most 
general physical conditions. The common plants, 
the common birds and quadrupeds, are as totally 
distinct as the men from anything to be seen on 
the side of the globe from which they come. 
The colonists proceed to put an end to this state 
of things over as large an area as they desire to 
occupy. They clear away the native vegetation, 
extirpate or drive out the animal population, so 
far as may be necessary, and take measures to 
defend themselves from the re-immigration of 
either. In their place, they introduce English 
grain and fruit trees ; English dogs, sheep, cattle, 
horses ; and English men ; in fact, they set up a 
new Flora and Fauna and a new variety of mankind, 
within the old state of nature. Their farms and 
pastures represent a garden on a great scale, and 
themselves the gardeners who have to keep it up, 
in watchful antagonism to the old regime. Con 
sidered as a whole, the colony is a composite unit 
introduced into the old state of nature ; and, 


thenceforward, a competitor in the struggle for 
existence, to conquer or be vanquished. 

Under the conditions supposed, there is no 
doubt of the result, if the work of the colonists 
be carried out energetically and with intelligent 
combination of all their forces. On the other 
hand, if they are slothful, stupid, and careless ; or 
if they waste their energies in contests with one 
another, the chances are that the old state of 
nature will have the best of it. The native 
savage will destroy the immigrant civilized man ; 
of the English animals and plants some will be 
extirpated by their indigenous rivals, others will 
pass into the feral state and themselves become 
components of the state of nature. In a few 
decades, all other traces of the settlement will 
have vanished. 


Let us now imagine that some administrative 
authority, as far superior in power and intelligence 
to men, as men are to their cattle, is set over the 
colony, charged to deal with its human elements 
in such a manner as to assure the victory of 
the settlement over the antagonistic influences of 
the state of nature in which it is set down. He 
would proceed in the same fashion as that in 
which the gardener dealt with his garden. In 
the first place, he would, as far as possible, put a 

VOL. TX c 


stop to the influence of external competition by 
thoroughly extirpating and excluding the native 
rivals, whether men, beasts, or plants. And 
our administrator would select his human agents, 
with a view to his ideal of a successful colony, 
just as the gardener selects his plants with a view 
to his ideal of useful or beautiful products. 

In the second place, in order that no struggle 
for the means of existence between these human 
agents should weaken the efficiency of the cor 
porate whole in the battle with the state of 
nature, he would make arrangements by which 
each would be provided with those means ; and 
would be relieved from the fear of being deprived 
of them by his stronger or more cunning fellows. 
Laws, sanctioned by the combined force of the 
colony, would restrain the self-assertion of each 
man within the limits required for the mainten 
ance of peace. In other words, the cosmic struggle 
for existence, as between man and man, would be 
rigorously suppressed ; and selection, by its means, 
would be as completely excluded as it is from 
the garden. 

At the same time, the obstacles to the full 
development of the capacities of the colonists 
by other conditions of the state of nature 
than those already mentioned, would be re 
moved by the creation of artificial conditions of 
existence of a more favourable character. Pro 
tection against extremes of heat and cold would 


be afforded by houses and clothing; drainage 
and irrigation works would antagonise the effects 
of excessive rain and excessive drought ; roads, 
bridges, canals, carriages, and ships would over 
come the natural obstacles to locomotion and 
transport; mechanical engines would supple 
ment the natural strength of men and of 
their draught animals; hygienic precautions 
would check, or remove, the natural causes of 
disease. With every step of this progress in 
civilization, the colonists would become more and 
more independent of the state of nature ; more 
and more, their lives would be conditioned by a 
state of art. In order to attain his ends, the ad 
ministrator would have to avail himself of the 
courage, industry, and co-operative intelligence of 
the settlers ; and it is plain that the interest of 
the community would be best served by increas 
ing the proportion of persons who possess such 
qualities, and diminishing that of persons devoid 
of them. In other words, by selection directed 
towards an ideal. 

Thus the administrator might look to the 
establishment of an earthly paradise, a true 
garden of Eden, in which all things should 
work together towards the well-being of the 
gardeners : within which the cosmic process, 
the coarse struggle for existence of the state 
of nature, should be abolished ; in which that 
state should be replaced by a state of art ; 

c 2 


where every plant and every lower animal should 
be adapted to human wants, and would perish if 
human supervision and protection were with 
drawn ; where men themselves should have been 
selected, with a view to their efficiency as 
organs for the performance of the functions of a 
perfected society. And this ideal polity would 
have been brought about, not by gradually adjust 
ing the men to the conditions around them, but 
by creating artificial conditions for them ; not by 
allowing the free play of the struggle for existence, 
but by excluding that struggle ; and by substitut 
ing selection directed towards the administrator s 
ideal for the selection it exercises. 


But the Eden would have its serpent, and a 
very subtle beast too. Man shares with the rest 
of the living world the mighty instinct of repro 
duction and its consequence, the tendency to 
multiply with great rapidity. The better the 
measures of the administrator achieved their 
object, the more completely the destructive 
agencies of the state of nature were defeated, 
the less would that multiplication be checked. 

On the other hand, within the colony, the 
enforcement of peace, which deprives every man 
of the power to take away the means of existence 
from another, simply because he is the stronger, 


would have put an end to the struggle for exist 
ence between the colonists, and the competition for 
the commodities of existence, which would alone 
remain, is no check upon population. 

Thus, as soon as the colonists began to multiply, 
the administrator would have to face the tendency 
to the reintroduction of the cosmic struggle into 
his artificial fabric, in consequence of the competi 
tion, not merely for the commodities, but for the 
means of existence. When the colony reached 
the limit of possible expansion, the surplus popu 
lation must be disposed of somehow ; or the fierce 
struggle for existence must recommence and 
destroy that peace, which is the fundamental con 
dition of the maintenance of the state of art 
against the state of nature. 

Supposing the administrator to be guided by 
purely scientific considerations, he would, like the 
gardener, meet this most serious difficulty by 
systematic extirpation, or exclusion, of the super 
fluous. The hopelessly diseased, the infirm aged, 
the weak or deformed in body or in mind, the 
excess of infants born, would be put away, as the 
gardener pulls up defective and superfluous plants, 
or the breeder destroys undesirable cattle. Only 
the strong and the healthy, carefully matched, with 
a view to the progeny best adapted to the pur 
poses of the administrator, would be permitted to 
perpetuate their kind. 



Of the more thoroughgoing of the multitudinous 
attempts to apply the principles of cosmic evolu 
tion, or what are supposed to be such, to social 
and political problems, which have appeared of late 
years, a considerable proportion appear to me to 
be based upon the notion that human society is 
competent to furnish, from its own resources, an 
administrator of the kind I have imagined. The 
pigeons, in short, are to be their own Sir John 
Sebright. 1 A despotic government, whether indi 
vidual or collective, is to be endowed with the 
preternatural intelligence, and with what, I am 
afraid, many will consider the preternatural ruth- 
lessness, required for the purpose of carrying out 
the principle of improvement by selection, with the 
somewhat drastic thoroughness upon which the 
success of the method depends. Experience cer 
tainly does not justify us in limiting the ruthless- 
ness of individual "saviours of society"; and, on 
the well-known grounds of the aphorism which 
denies both body and soul to corporations, it seems 
probable (indeed the belief is not without support 
in history) that a collective despotism, a mob got 
to believe in its own divine right by demagogic 
missionaries, would be capable of more thorough 

1 Not that the conception of such a society is necessarily based 
upon the idea of evolution. The Platonic state testifies to the 


work in this direction than any single tyrant, puffed 
up with the same illusion, has ever achieved. 
But intelligence is another affair. The fact that 
" saviours of society " take to that trade is evidence 
enough that they have none to spare. And 
such as they possess is generally sold to the 
capitalists of physical force on whose resources 
they depend. However, I doubt whether even 
the keenest judge of character, if he had before 
him a hundred boys and girls under fourteen, could 
pick out, with the least chance of success, those 
who should be kept, as certain to be serviceable 
members of the polity, and those who should be 
chloroformed, as equally sure to be stupid, idle, or 
vicious. The "points" of a good or of a bad citi 
zen are really far harder to discern than those of 
a puppy or a short-horn calf ; many do not show 
themselves before the practical difficulties of life 
stimulate manhood to full exertion. And by that 
time the mischief is done. The evil stock, if it be 
one, has had time to multiply, and selection is 


I have other reasons for fearing that this 
logical ideal of evolutionary regimentation this 
pigeon-fanciers polity is unattainable. In the 
absence of any such a severely scientific adminis 
trator as we have been dreaming of, human society 


is kept together by bonds of such a singular 
character, that the attempt to perfect society after 
his fashion would run serious risk of loosening 

Social organization is not peculiar to men. 
Other societies, such as those constituted by bees 
and ants, have also arisen out of the advantage of co 
operation in the struggle for existence ; and their 
resemblances to, and their differences from, human 
society are alike instructive. The society formed by 
the hive bee fulfils the ideal of the communistic 
aphorism " to each according to his needs, from each 
according to his capacity." Within it, the 
struggle for existence is strictly limited. Queen, 
drones, and workers have each their allotted suffi 
ciency of food ; each performs the function 
assigned to it in the economy of the hive, and all 
contribute to the success of the whole co-operative 
society in its competition with rival collectors of 
nectar and pollen and with other enemies, in the 
state of nature without. In the same sense as 
the garden, or the colony, is a work of human 
art, the bee polity is a work of apiarian art, 
brought about by the cosmic process, working 
through the organization of the hymenopterous 

Now this society is the direct product of an 
organic necessity, impelling every member of 
it to a course of action which tends to the good 
of the whole. Each bee has its duty and none 


has any rights. Whether bees are susceptible 
of feeling and capable of thought is a question 
which cannot be dogmatically answered. As a 
pious opinion, I am disposed to deny them more 
than the merest rudiments of consciousness. 1 But 
it is curious to reflect that a thoughtful drone 
(workers and queens would have no leisure for 
speculation) with a turn for ethical philosophy, 
must needs profess himself an intuitive moralist 
of the purest water. He would point out, with 
perfect justice, that the devotion of the workers to 
a life of ceaseless toil for a mere subsistence 
wage, cannot be accounted for either by enlight 
ened selfishness, or by any other sort of utilitarian 
motives ; since these bees begin to work, without 
experience or reflection, as they emerge from the 
cell in which they are hatched. Plainly, an eter 
nal and immutable principle, innate in each bee, 
can alone account for the phenomena. On the 
other hand, the biologist, who traces out all the 
extant stages of gradation between solitary and 
hive bees, as clearly sees in the latter, simply the 
perfection of an automatic mechanism,, hammered 
out by the blows of the struggle for existence 
upon the progeny of the former, during long ages 
of constant variation. 

1 Collected Essays, vol. i., "Animal Automatism"; vol. v., 
" Prologue," pp. 45 et seq. 


I see no reason to doubt that, at its origin, 
human society was as much a product of organic 
necessity as that of the bees. 1 The human family, 
to begin with, rested upon exactly the same con 
ditions as those which gave rise to similar associ 
ations among animals lower in the scale. Further, 
it is easy to see that every increase in the duration 
of the family ties, with the resulting co-operation 
of a larger and larger number of descendants for 
protection and defence, would give the families 
in which such modification took place a distinct 
advantage over the others. And, as in the hive, 
the progressive limitation of the struggle for 
existence between the members of the family 
would involve increasing efficiency as regards 
outside competition. 

But there is this vast and fundamental difference 
between bee society and human society. In the 
former, the members of the society are each organi 
cally predestined to the performance of one particu 
lar class of functions only. If they were endowed 
with desires, each could desire to perform none 
but those offices for which its organization speci 
ally fits it ; and which, in view of the good of the 
whole, it is proper it should do. So long as a new 
queen does not make her appearance, rivalries and 
competition are absent from the bee polity. 

1 Collected Essays, vol. v. , Prologue, pp. 50-54. 


Among mankind, on the contrary, there is no 
such predestination to a sharply defined place in 
the social organism. However much men may 
differ in the quality of their intellects, the in 
tensity of their passions, and the delicacy of their 
sensations, it cannot be said that one is fitted by 
his organization to be an agricultural labourer and 
nothing else, and another to be a landowner and 
nothing else. Moreover, with all their enormous 
differences in natural endowment, men agree in 
one thing, and that is their innate desire to enjoy 
the pleasures and to escape the pains of life ; and, 
in short, to do nothing but that which it pleases 
them to do, without the least reference to the 
welfare of the society into which they are born. 
That is their inheritance (the reality at the bottom 
of the doctrine of original sin) from the long series 
of ancestors, human and semi-human and brutal, 
in whom the strength of this innate tendency to 
self-assertion was the condition of victory in the 
struggle for existence. That is the reason of the 
aviditas vitce l the insatiable hunger for enjoy 
ment of all mankind, which is one of the essen 
tial conditions of success in the war with the state 
of nature outside ; and yet the sure agent of the 
destruction of society if allowed free play within. 

The check upon this free play of self-assertion, 
or natural liberty, which is the necessary condition 
for the origin of human society, is the product 
1 See below. Romanes Lecture, note 7. 


of organic necessities of a different kind from 
those upon which the constitution of the hive 
depends. One of these is the mutual affection 
of parent and offspring, intensified by the long 
infancy of the human species. But the most 
important is the tendency, so strongly 
developed in man, to reproduce in himself ac 
tions and feelings similar to, or correlated with, 
those of other men. Man is the most con 
summate of all mimics in the animal world ; 
none but himself can draw or model ; none comes 
near him in the scope, variety, and exactness of 
vocal imitation ; none is such a master of gesture ; 
while he seems to be impelled thus to imitate 
for the pure pleasure of it. And there is 
no such another emotional chameleon. By a 
purely reflex operation of the mind, we take 
the hue of passion of those who are about us, 
or, it may be, the complementary colour. It is 
not by any conscious " putting one s self in the 
place" of a joyful or a Buffering person that the 
state of mind we call sympathy usually arises ; 1 
indeed, it is often contrary to one s sense of 

1 Adam Smith makes the pithy observation that the man 
who sympathises with a woman in childbed, cannot be said 
to put himself in her place. ("The Theory of the Moral Senti 
ments," Part vii. sec. iii. chap, i.) Perhaps there is more 
humour than force in the example ; and. in spite of this 
and other observations of the same tenor, I think that the 
one defect of the remarkable work in which it occurs is that 
it lays too much stress on conscious substitution, too little 
on purely reflex sympathy. 


right, and in spite of one s will, that " fellow- 
feeling makes us wondrous kind," or the reverse. 
However complete may be the indifference to 
public opinion, in a cool, intellectual view, of the 
traditional sage, it has not yet been my fortune to 
meet with any actual sage who took its hostile 
manifestations with entire equanimity. Indeed, I 
doubt if the philosopher lives, or ever has lived, 
who could know himself to be heartily despised by 
a street boy without some irritation. And, though 
one cannot justify Haman for wishing to hang 
Mordecai on such a very high gibbet, yet, really, 
the consciousness of the Vizier of Ahasuerus, as 
he went in and out of the gate, that this obscure 
Jew had no respect for him, must have been very 
annoying. 1 

It is needful only to look around us, to see that 
the greatest restrainer of the anti-social tendencies 
of men is fear, not of the law, but of the opinion of 
their fellows. The conventions of honour bind men 
who break legal, moral, and religious bonds; and, 
while people endure the extremity of physical 
pain rather than part with life, shame drives the 
weakest to suicide. 

Every forward step of social progress brings men 

1 Esther v. 9-13. ". . . but when Haman saw Mordecai in the 
king s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was 
full of indignation against Mordecai. . . . And Haman told 
them of the glory of his riches. . . . and all the things 
wherein the king had promoted him. . . . Yet all this availeth 
me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the 
king s gate." What a shrewd exposure of human weakness it is ! 


into closer relations with their fellows, and in 
creases the importance of the pleasures and pains 
derived from sympathy. We judge the acts of 
others by our own sympathies, and we judge our 
own acts by the sympathies of others, every day 
and all day long, from childhood upwards, until 
associations, as indissoluble as those of language, 
are formed between certain acts and the feelings 
of approbation or disapprobation. It becomes 
impossible to imagine some acts without dis 
approbation, or others without approbation of 
the actor, whether he be one s self, or any one else. 
We come to think in the acquired dialect of morals. 
An artificial personality, the "man within," as 
Adam Smith l calls conscience, is built up beside 
the natural personality. He is the watchman of 
society, charged to restrain the anti-social ten 
dencies of the natural man within the limits 
required by social welfare. 


I have termed this evolution of the feelings 
out of which the primitive bonds of human 
society are so largely forged, into the organized 
and personified sympathy we call conscience, 
the ethical process. 2 So far as it tends to 

1 "Theory of the Moral Sentiments," Part iii. chap. 3. 
On the influence and authority of conxciciu:\ 

3 Worked out, in its essential features, chii-tly I .v Hartley and 
Adam Smith, lonir before the modern doctrine of evolution was 
thought of. See .Ye/* Mow, p. 45. 


make any human society more efficient in 
the struggle for existence with the state of 
nature, or with other societies, it works in har 
monious contrast with the cosmic process. But 
it is none the less true that, since law and 
morals are restraints upon the struggle for ex 
istence between men in society, the ethical 
process is in opposition to the principle of the 
cosmic process, and tends to the suppression of the 
qualities best fitted for success in that struggle. 1 

It is further to be observed that, just as the self- 
assertion, necessary to the maintenance of society 
against the state of nature, will destroy that society 
if it is allowed free operation within ; so the self- 
restraint, the essence of the ethical process, which 
is no less an essential condition of the existence of 
every polity, may, by excess, become ruinous to it. 

Moralists of all ages and of all faiths, attending 
only to the relations of men towards one another 
in an ideal society, have agreed upon the 
" golden rule," " Do as you would be done by." 
In other words, let sympathy be your guide ; 
put yourself in the place of the man towards 
whom your action is directed ; and do to him 
what you would like to have done to yourself 
under the circumstances. However much one 
may admire the generosity of such "a rule of con- 

1 See the essay " On the Struggle for Existence in Human 
Society " below ; and Collected Essay.*, vol. i. p. 276, for Kant s 
recognition of these farts. 


duct ; however confident one may be that average 
men may be thoroughly depended upon not to 
carry it out to its full logical consequences ; it 
is nevertheless desirable to recognise the fact 
that these consequences are incompatible with 
the existence of a civil state, under any circum 
stances of this world which have obtained, or, 
so far as one can see, are, likely to come to 

For I imagine there can be no doubt that the 
great desire of every wrongdoer is to escape from 
the painful consequences of his actions. If I put 
myself in the place of the man who has robbed me, 
I find that I am possessed by an exceeding desire 
not to be fined or imprisoned ; if in that of the 
man who has smitten me on one cheek, I contem 
plate with satisfaction the absence of any worse 
result than the turning of the other cheek for like 
treatment. Strictly observed, the " golden rule " 
involves the negation of law by the refusal to put i t 
in motion against law-breakers ; and, as regards 
the external relations of a polity, it is the refusal 
to continue the struggle for existence. It can be 
obeyed, even partially, only under the protection of 
a society which repudiates it. Without such 
shelter, the followers of the " golden rule " may in 
dulge in hopes of heaven, but they must reckon 
with the certainty that other people will be 
masters of the earth. 

What would become of the garden if the gar- 


dener treated all the weeds and slugs and birds 
and trespassers as he would like to be treated, if 
he were in their place ? 


Under the preceding heads, I have endeavoured 
to represent in broad, but I hope faithful, outlines 
the essential features of the state of nature and of 
that cosmic process of which it is the outcome, so 
far as was needful for my argument ; I have con 
trasted with the state of nature the state of 
art, produced by human intelligence and energy, 
as it is exemplified by a garden ; and I have shown 
that the state of art, here and elsewhere, can be 
maintained only by the constant counteraction 
of the hostile influences of the state of nature. 
Further, I have pointed out that the " horticultural 
process " which thus sets itself against the " cosmic 
process " is opposed to the latter in principle, in so 
far as it tends to arrest the struggle for existence, 
by restraining the multiplication which is one 
of the chief causes of that struggle, and by 
creating artificial conditions of life, better adapted 
to the cultivated plants than are the conditions of 
the state of nature. And I have dwelt upon the 
fact that, though the progressive modification, 
which is the consequence of the struggle for 
existence in the state of nature, is at an end, 
such modification may still be effected by that 



selection, in view of an ideal of usefulness, or of 
pleasantness, to man, of which the state of nature 
knows nothing. 

I have proceeded to show that a colony, set down 
in a country in the state of nature, presents close 
analogies with a garden; and I have indicated the 
course of action which an administrator, able and 
willing to carry out horticultural principles, would 
adopt, in order to secure the success of such a 
newly formed polity, supposing it to be capable of 
indefinite expansion. In the contrary case, I have 
shown that difficulties must arise ; that the un 
limited increase of the population over a limited 
area must, sooner or later, reintroduce into the 
colony that struggle for the means of existence 
between the colonists, which it was the primary 
object of the administrator to exclude, insomuch 
as it is fatal to the mutual peace which is the 
prime condition of the union of men in society. 

I have briefly described the nature of the only 
radical cure, known to me, for the disease which 
would thus threaten the existence of the colony ; 
and, however regretfully, I have been obliged 
to admit that this rigorously scientific method of 
applying the principles of evolution to human 
society hardly comes within the region of practical 
politics ; not for want of will on the part of a great 
many people; but because, for one reason, there is no 
hope that mere human beings will ever possess 
enough intelligence to select the fittest. And I 


have adduced other grounds for arriving at the 
same conclusion. 

I have pointed out that human society took its 
rise in the organic necessities expressed by imita 
tion and by the sympathetic emotions ; and that, 
in the struggle for existence with the state of 
nature and with other societies, as part of it, those 
in which men were thus led to close co-operation 
had a great advantage. 1 But, since each man 
retained more or less of the faculties common to 
all the rest, and especially a full share of the 
desire for unlimited self-gratification, the struggle 
for existence within society could only be gradu 
ally eliminated. So long as any of it remained, 
society continued to be an imperfect instrument 
of the struggle for existence and, consequently, 
was improvable by the selective influence of that 
struggle. Other things being alike, the tribe of 
savages in which order was best maintained ; in 
which there was most security within the tribe 
and the most loyal mutual support outside it, 
would be the survivors. 

I have termed this gradual strengthening of 
the social bond, which, though it arrests the 
struggle for existence inside society, up to a 
certain point improves the chances of society, as 
a corporate whole, in the cosmic struggle the 
ethical process. I have endeavoured to show 
that, when the ethical process has advanced so 

1 Collected Essays, vol. v., Prologue, p. 52. 

D 2 


far as to secure every member of the society in 
the possession of the means of existence, the 
struggle for existence, as between man and man, 
within that society is, ipso facto, at an end. And, 
as it is undeniable that the most highly civilized 
societies have substantially reached this position, 
it follows that, so far as they are concerned, the 
struggle for existence can play no important part 
within them. 1 In other words, the kind of evo 
lution which is brought about in the state of 
nature cannot take place. 

I have further shown cause for the belief that 
direct selection, after the fashion of the horticul 
turist and the breeder, neither has played, nor 
can play, any important part in the evolution 
of society ; apart from other reasons, because I 
do not see how such selection could be practised 
without a serious weakening, it may be the destruc 
tion, of the bonds which hold society together. 
It strikes me that men who are accustomed to 
contemplate the active or passive extirpation of 
the weak, the unfortunate, and the superfluous; 
who justify that conduct on the ground that it has 
the sanction of the cosmic process, and is the only 
way of ensuring the progress of the race ; who, if 

1 Whether the struggle for existence with the state of nature 
and with other societies, so far as they stand in the relation of 
the state of nature with it, exerts a selective influence upon modern 
society, and in what direction, are questions not easy to 
answer. The problem of the effect of military and industrial 
warfare upon those who wage it is very complicated. 


they are consistent, must rank medicine among the 
black arts and count the physician a mischievous 
preserver of the unfit ; on whose matrimonial un 
dertakings the principles of the stud have the chief 
influence; whose whole lives, therefore, are an 
education in the noble art of suppressing natural 
affection and sympathy, are not likely to have any 
large stock of these commodities left. But, with 
out them, there is no conscience, nor any restraint 
on the conduct of men, except the calculation of 
self-interest, the balancing of certain present grati 
fications against doubtful future pains ; and ex 
perience tells us how much that is worth. Every 
day, we see firm believers in the hell of the theo 
logians commit acts by which, as they believe when 
cool, they risk eternal punishment ; while they 
hold back from those which are opposed to the 
sympathies of their associates. 


That progressive modification of civilization 
which passes by the name of the " evolution of 
society," is, in fact, a process of an essentially 
different character, both from that which brings 
about the evolution cf species, in the state of 
nature, and from that which gives rise to the evo 
lution of varieties, in the state of art. 

There can be no doubt that vast changes have 
taken place in English civilization since the reign 


of the Tudors. But I am not aware of a particle 
of evidence in favour of the conclusion that this 
evolutionary process has been accompanied by any 
modification of the physical, or the mental, 
characters of the men who have been the subjects 
of it. I have not met with any grounds for 
suspecting that the average Englishmen of to-day 
are sensibly different from those that Shakspere 
knew and drew. We look into his magic mirror 
of the Elizabethan age, and behold, nowise darkly, 
the presentment of ourselves. 

During these three centuries, from the reign of 
Elizabeth to that of Victoria, the struggle for 
existence between man and man has been so 
largely restrained among the great mass of the 
population (except for one or two short intervals 
of civil war), that it can have had little, or no, 
selective operation. As to anything comparable 
to direct selection, it has been practised on so 
small a scale that it may also be neglected. 
The criminal law, in so far as by putting to death, 
or by subjecting to long periods of imprisonment, 
those who infringe its provisions, it prevents the 
propagation of hereditary criminal tendencies ; 
and the poor-law, in so far as it separates married 
couples, whose destitution arises from hereditary 
defects of character, are doubtless selective agents 
operating in favour of the non-criminal and the 
more effective members of society. But the pro 
portion of the population which they influence 


is very small ; and, generally, the hereditary 
criminal and the hereditary pauper have propa 
gated their kind before the law affects them. 
In a large proportion of cases, crime and pauper 
ism have nothing to do with heredity ; but 
are the consequence, partly, of circumstances 
and, partly, of the possession of qualities, which, 
under different conditions of life, might have 
excited esteem and even admiration. It was a 
shrewd man of the world who, in discussing sewage 
problems, remarked that dirt is riches in the 
wrong place ; and that sound aphorism has moral 
applications. The benevolence and open-handed 
generosity which adorn a rich man, may make a 
pauper of a poor one ; the energy and courage to 
which the successful soldier owes his rise, the cool 
and daring subtlety to which the great financier 
owes his fortune, may very easily, under unfavour 
able conditions, lead their possessors to the 
gallows, or to the -hulks. Moreover, it is fairly 
probable that the children of a failure will re 
ceive from their other parent just that little 
modification of character which makes all the 
difference. I sometimes wonder whether people, 
who talk so freely about extirpating the unfit, 
ever dispassionately consider their own history. 
Surely, one must be very fit, indeed, not to know 
of an occasion, or perhaps two, in one s life, when 
it would have been only too easy to qualify for 
a place among the unfit/ 


In my belief the innate qualities, physical, 
intellectual, and moral, of our nation have 
remained substantially the same for the last 
four or five centuries. If the struggle for exist 
ence has affected us to any serious extent (and I 
doubt it) it has been, indirectly, through our mili 
tary and industrial wars with other nations. 


What is often called the struggle for existence 
in society (I plead guilty to having used the 
term too loosely myself), is a contest, not for the 
means of existence, but for the means of enjoy 
ment. Those who occupy the first places in this 
practical competitive examination are the rich 
and the influential ; those who fail, more or less, 
occupy the lower places, down to the squalid 
obscurity of the pauper and the criminal. Upon 
the most liberal estimate, I suppose the former 
group will not amount to two per cent, of the 
population. I doubt if the latter exceeds another 
two per cent. ; but let it be supposed, for the sake 
of argument, that it is as great as five per cent. 1 

As it is only in the latter group that any 
thing comparable to the struggle for existence in 
the state of nature can take place ; as it is only 

1 Those who read the last Essay in this volume will not 
accuse me of wishing to attenuate the evil of the existence of 
this group, whether great or small. 


among this twentieth of the whole people that 
numerous men, women, and children die of rapid 
or slow starvation, or of the diseases incidental to 
permanently bad conditions of life ; and as there 
is nothing to prevent their multiplication before 
they are killed off, while, in spite of greater 
infant mortality, they increase faster than the 
rich ; it seems clear that the struggle for exist 
ence in this class can have no appreciable se 
lective influence upon the other 95 per cent, of 
the population. 

What sort of a sheep breeder would he be who 
should content himself with picking out the worst 
fifty out of a thousand, leaving them on a 
barren common till the weakest starved, and then 
letting the survivors go back to mix with the rest ? 
And the parallel is too favourable ; since in a 
large number of cases, the actual poor and the 
convicted criminals are neither the weakest nor 
the worst. 

In the struggle for the means of enjoyment, 
the qualities which ensure success are energy, 
industry, intellectual capacity, tenacity of purpose, 
and, at least as much sympathy as is necessary 
to make a man understand the feelings of his 
fellows. Were there none of those artificial ar 
rangements by which fools and knaves are kept at 
the top of society instead of sinking to their natural 
place at the bottom, 1 the struggle for the means of 

1 I have elsewhere lamented the absence from society of 


enjoyment would ensure a constant circulation of 
the human units of the social compound, from 
the bottom to the top and from the top to the 
bottom. The survivors of the contest, those who 
continued to form the great bulk of the polity, 
would not be those fittest who got to the very 
top, but the great body of the moderately " fit," 
whose numbers and superior propagative power, 
enable them always to swamp the exceptionally 
endowed minority. 

I think it must be obvious to every one, that, 
whether we consider the internal or the external 
interests of society, it is desirable they should be 
in the hands of those who are endowed with the 
largest share of energy, of industry, of intellectual 
capacity, of tenacity of purpose, while they are not 
devoid of sympathetic humanity ; and, in so far as 
the struggle for the means of enjoyment tends to 
place such men in possession of wealth and influ 
ence, it is a process which tends to the good of 
society. But the process, as we have seen, has 
no real resemblance to that which adapts living 
beings to current conditions in the state of nature ; 
nor any to the artificial selection of the horti 

a machinery for facilitating the descent of incapacity. "Ad 
ministrative Nihilism." Collected Essays, vol. i. p. 54. 



To return, once more, to the parallel of horti 
culture. In the modern world, the gardening of 
men by themselves is practically restricted to the 
performance, not of selection, but of that other 
function of the gardener, the creation of condi 
tions more favourable than those of the state of 
nature ; to the end of facilitating the free ex 
pansion of the innate faculties of the citizen, so 
far as it is consistent with the general good. 
And the business of the moral and political 
philosopher appears to me to be the ascertainment, 
by the same method of observation, experiment, 
and ratiocination, as is practised in other kinds 
of scientific work, of the course of conduct which 
will best conduce to that end. 

But, supposing this course of conduct to be 
scientifically determined and carefully followed 
out, it cannot put an end to the struggle for 
existence in the state of nature ; and it will not so 
much as tend, in any way, to the adaptation of 
man to that state. Even should the whole human 
race be absorbed in one vast polity, within which 
" absolute political justice " reigns, the struggle 
for existence with the state of nature outside it, 
and the tendency to the return of the struggle 
within, in consequence of over-multiplication, will 
remain ; and, unless men s inheritance from the 
ancestors who fought a good fight in the state of 


nature, their dose of original sin, is rooted out by 
some method at present unrevealed, at any rate 
to disbelievers in supernaturalism, every child 
born into the world will still bring with him the 
instinct of unlimited self-assertion. He will have 
to learn the lesson of self-restraint and renuncia 
tion. But the practice of self-restraint and re 
nunciation is not happiness, though it may be 
something much better. 

That man, as a political animal, is sus 
ceptible of a vast amount of improvement, by edu 
cation, by instruction, and by the application of his 
intelligence to the adaptation of the conditions 
of life to his higher needs, I entertain not the 
slightest doubt. But, so long as he remains liable 
to error, intellectual or moral ; so long as he is 
compelled to be perpetually on guard against the 
cosmic forces, whose ends are not his ends, without 
and within himself; so long as he is haunted by 
inexpugnable memories and hopeless aspirations ; 
so long as the recognition of his intellectual limita 
tions forces him to acknowledge his incapacity to 
penetrate the mystery of existence ; the prospect 
of attaining untroubled happiness, or of a state 
which can, even remotely, deserve the title of 
perfection, appears to me to be as misleading an 
illusion as ever was dangled before the eyes of poor 
humanity. And there have been many of them. 

That which lies before the human race is a 
constant struggle to maintain and improve, in 


opposition to the State of Nature, the State of Art 
of an organized polity ; in which, and by which, 
man may develop a worthy civilization, capable 
of maintaining and constantly improving itself, 
until the evolution of our globe shall have entered 
HO far upon its downward course that the cosmic 
process resumes its sway; and, once more, the 
State of Nature prevails over the surface of our 

Note (see p. 30). It seems the fashion nowadays to ignore 
Hartley ; though, a century and a half ago, he not only laid 
the foundations but built up much of the superstructure of a 
true theory of the Evolution of the intellectual and moral 
faculties. He speaks of what I have termed the ethical process 
as "our Progress from Self-interest to Self-annihilation," 
Observations on Man (1749), vol. ii. p. 281. 



[The Romanes Lecture, 1803] 

Soleo enim et in aliena castra transire, non tanqnam transfuga 
scd tanquam explorator. (L. ANN^I SENECA EPIST. II. 4.) 

THERE is a delightful child s story, known by 
the title of " Jack and the Bean-stalk," with 
which my contemporaries who are present will be 
familiar. But so many of our grave and reverend 
juniors have been brought up on severer intellec 
tual diet, and, perhaps, have become acquainted 
with fairyland only through primers of comparative 
mythology, that it may be needful to give an out 
line of the tale. It is a legend of a bean-plant, 
which grows and grows until it reaches the high 
heavens and there spreads out into a vast canopy 
of foliage. The hero, being moved to climb the 
stalk, discovers that the leafy expanse supports a 
world composed of the same elements as that 
below, but yet strangely new ; and his adventures 
there, on- which I may not dwell, must have com- 



pletely changed his views of the nature of things ; 
though the story, not having been composed by, 
or for, philosophers, has nothing to say about 

My present enterprise has a certain analogy to 
that of the daring adventurer. I beg you to 
accompany me in an attempt to reach a world 
which, to many, is probably strange, by the help 
of a bean. It is, as you know, a simple, inert- 
looking thing. Yet, if planted under proper con 
ditions, of which sufficient warmth is one of the 
most important, it manifests active powers of a 
very remarkable kind. A small green seedling 
emerges, rises to the surface of the soil, rapidly 
increases in size and, at the same time, undergoes 
a series of metamorphoses which do not excite our 
wonder as much as those which meet us in 
legendary history, merely because they are to be 
seen every day and all day long. 

By insensible steps, the plant builds itself up 
into a large and various fabric of root, stem, leaves, 
flowers, and fruit, every one moulded within and 
without in accordance with an extremely complex 
but, at the same time, minutely defined pattern. 
In each of these complicated structures, as in their 
smallest constituents, there is an immanent energy 
which, in harmony with that resident in all the 
others, incessantly works towards the maintenance 
of the whole and the efficient performance of the 
part which it has to play in the economy of nature. 


But no sooner has the edifice, reared with such 
exact elaboration, attained completeness, than it 
begins to crumble. By degrees, the plant withers 
and disappears from view, leaving behind more or 
fewer apparently inert and simple bodies, just like 
the bean from which it sprang ; and, like it, en 
dowed with the potentiality of giving rise to a 
similar cycle of manifestations. 

Neither the poetic nor the scientific imagination 
is put to much strain in the search after analogies 
with this process of going forth and, as it were, 
returning to the starting-point. It may be likened 
to the ascent and descent of a slung stone, or 
the course of an arrow along its trajectory. Or 
we may say that the living energy takes first an 
upward and then a downward road. Or it may 
seem preferable to compare the expansion of the 
germ into the full-grown plant, to the unfolding 
of a fan, or to the rolling forth and widening of a 
stream ; and thus to arrive at the conception of 
development, or evolution. Here as else 
where, names are noise and smoke ; the im 
portant point is to have a clear and adequate 
conception of the fact signified by a name. And, 
in this case, the fact is the Sisyphaean process, in 
the course of which, the living and growing plant 
passes from the relative simplicity and latent 
potentiality of the seed to the full epiphany of a 
highly differentiated type, thence to fall back to 
simplicity and potentiality. 


The value of a strong intellectual grasp of the 
nature of this process lies in the circumstance that 
what is true of the bean is true of living things in 
general. From very low forms up to the highest 
in the animal no less than in the vegetable 
kingdom the process of life presents the same 
appearance l of cyclical evolution. Nay, we have 
but to cast our eyes over the rest of the world and 
cyclical change presents itself on all sides. It 
meets us in the water that flows to the sea and 
returns to the springs; in the heavenly bodies 
that wax and wane, go and return to their places ; 
in the inexorable sequence of the ages of man s 
life; in that successive rise, apogee, and fall of 
dynasties and of states which is the most pro 
minent topic of civil history. 

As no man fording a swift stream can dip his 
foot twice into the same water, so no man can, 
with exactness, affirm of anything in the sensible 
world that it is. 2 As he utters the words, nay, 
as he thinks them, the predicate ceases to be 
applicable ; the present has become the past ; the 
1 is should be was. And the more we learn of 
the. nature of things, the more evident is it that 
what we call rest is only unperceived activity ; 
that seeming peace is silent but strenuous battle. 
In every part, at every moment, the state of the 
cosmos is the expression of a transitory adjust 
ment of contending forces; a scene of strife, in 
which all the combatants fall in turn. What is 



true of each part, is true of the whole. Natural 
knowledge tends more and more to the conclusion 
that " all the choir of heaven and furniture of the 
earth " are the transitory forms of parcels of cosmic 
substance wending along the road of evolution, 
from nebulous potentiality, through endless 
growths of sun and planet and satellite ; through 
all varieties of matter ; through infinite diversities 
of life and thought; possibly, through modes of 
being of which we neither have a conception, nor 
are competent to form any, back to the indefin 
able latency from which they arose. Thus the 
most obvious attribute of the cosmos is its imper- 
manence. It assumes the aspect not so much of 
a permanent entity as of a changeful process, in 
which naught endures save the flow of energy and 
the rational order which pervades it. 

We have climbed our bean-stalk and have 
reached a wonderland in which the common and 
the familiar become things new and strange. In 
the exploration of the cosmic process thus 
typified, the highest intelligence of man finds 
inexhaustible employment ; giants are subdued to 
our service; and the spiritual affections of the 
contemplative philosopher are engaged by beauties 
worthy of eternal constancy. 

But there is another aspect of the cosmic process, 
so perfect as a mechanism, so beautiful as a work 
of art. Where the cosmopoietic energy works 


through sentient beings, there arises, among its 
other manifestations, that which we call pain or 
suffering. This baleful product of evolution in 
creases in quantity and in intensity, with advancing 
grades of animal organization, until it attains its 
highest level in man. Further, the consumma 
tion is not reached in man, the mere animal ; nor 
in man, the whole or half savage ; but only in 
man, the member of an organized polity. And 
it is a necessary consequence of his attempt to live 
in this way ; that is, under those conditions which 
are essential to the full development of his noblest 

Man, the animal, in fact, has worked his way 
to the headship of the sentient world, and has 
become the superb animal which he is, in virtue 
of his success in the struggle for existence. The 
conditions having been of a certain order, man s 
organization has adjusted itself to them better 
than that of his competitors in the cosmic strife. 
In the case of mankind, the self-assertion, the 
unscrupulous seizing upon all that can be grasped, 
the tenacious holding of all that can be kept, 
which constitute the essence of the struggle for 
existence, have answered. For his successful pro 
gress, throughout the savage state, man has been 
largely indebted to those qualities which he shares 
with the ape and the tiger; his exceptional 
physical organization ; his cunning, his sociability, 
his curiosity, and his imitativeness ; his ruthless 

E 2 


and ferocious destructiveness when his anger is 
roused by opposition. 

But, in proportion as men have passed from 
anarchy to social organization, and in proportion 
as civilization has grown in worth, these deeply 
ingrained serviceable qualities have become de 
fects. After the manner of successful persons, 
civilized man would gladly kick down the ladder 
by which he has climbed. He would be only too 
pleased to see the ape and tiger die. But they 
decline to suit his convenience ; and the unwel 
come intrusion of these boon companions of his 
hot youth into the ranged existence of civil life 
adds pains and griefs, innumerable and immeasur 
ably great, to those which the cosmic process 
necessarily brings on the mere animal. In fact, 
civilized man brands all these ape and tiger 
promptings with the name of sins ; he punishes 
many of the acts which flow from them as crimes ; 
and, in extreme cases, he does his best to put an 
end to the survival of the fittest of former days 
by axe and rope. 

I have said that civilized man has reached this 
point ; the assertion is perhaps too broad and 
general ; I had better put it that ethical man has 
attained thereto. The science of ethics professes 
to furnish us with a reasoned rule of life ; to tell 
us what is right action and why it is so. What 
ever differences of opinion may exist among experts, 
there is a general consensus that the ape and tiger 



methods of the struggle for existence are not 
reconcilable with sound ethical principles. 

The hero of our story descended the bean-stalk, 
and came back to the common world, where fare 
and work were alike hard ; where ugly competitors 
were much commoner than beautiful princesses ; 
and where the everlasting battle witli self was 
much less sure to be crowned with victory than a 
turn-to with a giant. We have done the like. 
Thousands upon thousands of our fellows, thou 
sands of years ago, have preceded us in rinding 
themselves face to face with the same dread prob 
lem of evil. They also have seen that the cosmic 
process is evolution ; that it is full of wonder, full 
of beauty, and, at the same time, full of pain. 
They have sought to discover the bearing of these 
great facts on ethics ; to find out whether there 
is, or is not, a sanction for morality in the ways of 
the cosmos. 

Theories of the universe, in which the conception 
of evolution plays a leading part, were extant at 
least six centuries before our era. Certain know 
ledge of them, in the fifth century, reaches us 
from localities as distant as the valley of the 
Ganges and the Asiatic coasts of the ^Egean. To 
the early philosophers of Hindostan, no less than 
to those of Ionia, the salient and characteristic 
feature of the phenomenal world was its change- 



fulness ; the unresting flow of all things, through 
birth to visible being and thence to not being, in 
which they could discern no sign of a beginning 
and for which they saw no prospect of an ending. 
It was no less plain to some of these antique fore 
runners of modern philosophy that suffering is the 
badge of all the tribe of sentient things ; that it 
is no accidental accompaniment, but an essential 
constituent of the cosmic process. The energetic 
Greek might find fierce joys in a world in which 
strife is father and king ; but the old Aryan 
spirit was subdued to quietism in the Indian sage ; 
the mist of suffering which spread over humanity 
hid everything else from his view ; to him life 
was one with suffering and suffering with life. 

In Hindostan, as in Ionia, a period of relatively 
high and tolerably stable civilization had succeeded 
long ages of semi-barbarism and struggle. Out of 
wealth and security had come leisure and refine 
ment, and, close at their heels, had followed the 
malady of thought. To the struggle for bare 
existence, which never ends, though it may be 
alleviated and partially disguised for a fortunate 
few, succeeded the struggle to make existence 
intelligible and to bring the order of things into 
harmony with the moral sense of man, which also 
never ends, but, for the thinking few, becomes 
keener with every increase of knowledge and with 
every step towards the realization of a worthy 
ideal of life. 


Two thousand five hundred years ago, the value 
of civilization was as apparent as it is now ; then, 
as now, it was obvious that only in the garden of 
an orderly polity can the finest fruits humanity 
is capable of bearing be produced. But it had 
also become evident that the blessings of culture 
were not unmixed. The garden was apt to turn 
into a hothouse. The stimulation of the senses, 
the pampering of the emotions, endlessly mul 
tiplied the sources of pleasure. The constant 
widening of the intellectual field indefinitely 
extended the range of that especially human 
faculty of looking before and after, which adds 
to the fleeting present those old and new worlds 
of the past and the future, wherein men dwell the 
more the higher their culture. Biit that very 
sharpening of the sense and that subtle refine 
ment of emotion, which brought such a wealth of 
pleasures, were fatally attended by a proportional 
enlargement of the capacity for suffering ; and 
the divine faculty of imagination, while it created 
new heavens and new earths, provided them with 
the corresponding hells of futile regret for the 
past and morbid anxiety for the future. 3 Finally, 
the inevitable penalty of over-stimulation, ex 
haustion, opened the gates of civilization to its 
great enemy, ennui ; the stale and flat weariness 
when man delights not, nor woman neither ; when 
all things are vanity and vexation ; and life seems 
not worth living except to escape the bore of dying. 



Even purely intellectual progress brings about 
its revenges. Problems settled in a rough and 
ready way by rude men, absorbed in action, 
demand renewed attention and show themselves 
to be still unread riddles when men have time to 
think. The beneficent demon, doubt, whose name 
is Legion and who dwells amongst the tombs of 
old faiths, enters into mankind and thenceforth 
refuses to be cast out. Sacred customs, venerable 
dooms of ancestral wisdom, hallowed by tradition 
and professing to hold good for all time, are put 
to the question. Cultured reflection asks for their 
credentials ; judges them by its own standards ; 
finally, gathers those of which it approves into 
ethical systems, in which the reasoning is rarely 
much more than a decent pretext for the adoption 
of foregone conclusions. 

One of the oldest and most important elements 
in such systems is the conception of justice. 
Society is impossible unless those who are asso 
ciated agree to observe certain rules of conduct 
towards one another ; its stability depends on the 
steadiness with which they abide by that agree 
ment; and, so far as they waver, that mutual 
trust which is the bond of society is weakened 
or destroyed. Wolves could not hunt in packs 
except for the real, though unexpressed, under 
standing that they should not attack one another 
during the chase. The most rudimentary polity 
is a pack of men living under the like tacit, 


or expressed, understanding; and having made 
the very important advance upon wolf society, 
that they agree to use the force of the whole body 
against individuals who violate it and in favour of 
those who observe it. This observance of a com 
mon understanding, with the consequent distribu 
tion of punishments and rewards according to 
accepted rules, received the name of justice, while 
the contrary was called injustice. Early ethics 
did not take much note of the animus of the 
violator of the rules. But civilization could not 
advance far, without the establishment of a 
capital distinction between the case of involun 
tary and that of wilful misdeed ; between a merely 
wrong action and a guilty one. And, with increas 
ing refinement of moral appreciation, the problem 
of desert, which arises out of this distinction, 
acquired more and more theoretical and practical 
importance. If life must be given for life, yet it 
was recognized that the unintentional slayer did 
not altogether deserve death ; and, by a sort of 
compromise between the public and the private 
conception of justice, a sanctuary was provided 
in which he might take refuge from the avenger 
of blood. 

The idea of justice thus underwent a gradual 
sublimation from punishment and reward accord 
ing to acts, to punishment and reward according to 
desert ; or, in other words, according to motive. 
Righteousness, that is, action from right motive, 


not only became synonymous with justice, but the 
positive constituent of innocence and the very 
heart of goodness. 

Now when the ancient sage, whether Indian or 
Greek, who had attained to this conception of 
goodness, looked the world, and especially human 
life, in the face, he found it as hard as we do to 
bring the course of evolution into harmony with 
even the elementary requirements of the ethical 
ideal of the just and the good. 

If there is one thing plainer than another, it is 
that neither the pleasures nor the pains of life, 
in the merely animal world, are distributed accord 
ing to desert ; for it is admittedly impossible for 
the lower orders of sentient beings to deserve 
either the one or the other. If there is a gene 
ralization from the facts of human life which has 
the assent of thoughtful men in every age and 
country, it is that the violator of ethical rules 
constantly escapes the punishment which he 
deserves ; that the wicked flourishes like a green 
bay tree, while the righteous begs his bread ; 
that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the 
children ; that, in the realm of nature, ignorance 
is punished just as severely as wilful wrong ; and 
that thousands upon thousands of innocent beings 
suffer for the crime, or the unintentional trespass, 
of one. 

Qreek and Semite and Indian are agreed upon 


this subject. The book of Job is at one with the 
"Works and Days" and the Buddhist Sutras; 
the Psalmist and the Preacher of Israel, with the 
Tragic Poets of Greece. What is a more common 
motive of the ancient tragedy in fact, than the 
unfathomable injustice of the nature of things ; 
what is more deeply felt to be true than its pre 
sentation, of the destruction of the blameless by 
the work of his own hands, or by the fatal opera 
tion of the sins of others ? Surely CEdipus was 
pure of heart ; it was the natural sequence of 
events the cosmic process which drove him, in 
all innocence, to slay his father and become the 
husband of his mother, to the desolation of his 
people and his own headlong ruin. Or to step, for 
a moment, beyond the chronological limits I have 
set myself, what constitutes the sempiternal at 
traction of Hamlet but the appeal to deepest 
experience of that history of a no less blameless 
dreamer, dragged, in spite of himself, into a world 
out of joint ; involved in a tangle of crime and 
misery, created by one of the prime agents of the 
cosmic process as it works in and through man ? 

Thus, brought before the tribunal of ethics, the 
cosmos might well seem to stand condemned. 
The conscience of man revolted against the moral 
indifference of nature, and the microcosmic atom 
should have found the illimitable macrocosm 
guilty. But few, or none, ventured to record that 


In the great Semitic trial of this issue, Job 
takes refuge in silence and submission ; the Indian 
and the Greek, less wise perhaps, attempt to re 
concile the irreconcilable and plead for the defend 
ant. To this end, the Greeks invented Theo- 
dicies ; while the Indians devised what, in its 
ultimate form, must rather be termed a Cos- 
modicy. For, though Buddhism recognizes gods 
many and lords many, they are products of the 
cosmic process ; and transitory, however long en 
during, manifestations of its eternal activity. In 
the doctrine of transmigration, whatever its origin, 
Brahminical and Buddhist speculation found, 
ready to hand, 4 the means of constructing a 
plausible vindication of the ways of the cosmos to 
man. If this world is full of pain and sorrow ; if 
grief and evil fall, like the rain, upon both the 
just and the unjust ; it is because, like the rain, 
they are links in the endless chain of natural 
causation by which past, present, and future are 
indissolubly connected ; and there is no more 
injustice in the one case than in the other. Every 
sentient being is reaping as it has sown ; if not in 
this life, then in one or other of the infinite series 
of antecedent existences of which it is the latest 
term. The present distribution of good and evil 
is, therefore, the algebraical sum of accumulated 
positive and negative deserts; or, rather, it 
depends on the floating balance of the account. 
For it was not thought necessary that a complete 


settlement should ever take place. Arrears might 
stand over as a sort of hanging gale ; a period 
of celestial happiness just earned might be suc 
ceeded by ages of torment in a hideous nether 
world, the balance still overdue for some remote 
ancestral error. 5 

Whether the cosmic process looks any more 
moral than at first, after such a vindication, may 
perhaps be questioned. Yet this plea of justifica 
tion is not less plausible than others ; and none 
but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the 
ground of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine 
of evolution itself, that of transmigration has its 
roots in the world of reality ; and it may claim 
such support as the great argument from analogy 
is capable of supplying. 

Everyday experience familiarizes us with the 
facts which are grouped under the name of here 
dity. Every one of us bears upon him obvious 
marks of his parentage, perhaps of remoter rela 
tionships. More particularly, the sum of tenden- 
ciek to act in a certain way, which we call 
" character," is often to be traced through a long 
series of progenitors and collaterals. So we may 
justly say that this character this moral and 
intellectual essence of a man does veritably pass 
over from one fleshly tabernacle to another, and 
does really transmigrate from generation to 
generation. In the new-born infant, the character 
of the stock lies latent, and the Ego is little more 


than a bundle of potentialities. But, very early, 
these become actualities ; from childhood to age 
they manifest themselves in dulness or bright 
ness, weakness or strength, viciousness or up 
rightness; and with each feature modified by 
confluence with another character, if by nothing 
else, the character passes on to its incarnation in 
new bodies. 

The Indian philosophers called character, as 
thus defined, c karma. 6 It is this karma which 
passed from life to life and linked them in the 
chain of transmigrations ; and they held that it is 
modified in each life, not merely by confluence of 
parentage, but by its own acts. They were, in 
fact, strong believers in the theory, so much 
disputed just at present, of the hereditary trans 
mission of acquired characters. That the mani 
festation of the tendencies of a character may be 
greatly facilitated, or impeded, by conditions, of 
which self-discipline, or the absence of it, are 
among the most important, is indubitable ; but 
that the character itself is modified in this way is 
by no means so certain ; it is not so sure that the 
transmitted character of an evil liver is worse, or 
that of a righteous man better, than that which 
he received. Indian philosophy, however, did not 
admit of any doubt on this subject ; the belief in 
the influence of conditions, notably of self-dis 
cipline, on the karma was not merely a necessary 
postulate of its theory of retribution, but it pre- 


sented the only way of escape from the endless 
round of transmigrations. 

The earlier forms of Indian philosophy agreed 
with those prevalent in our own times, in suppos 
ing the existence of a permanent reality, or sub 
stance, beneath the shifting series of phenomena, 
whether of matter or of mind. The substance of 
the cosmos was Brahma, that of the individual 
man Atman ; and the latter was separated from 
the former only, if I may so speak, by its pheno 
menal envelope, by the casing of sensations, 
thoughts and desires, pleasures and pains, which 
make up the illusive phantasmagoria of life. This 
the ignorant take for reality ; their * Atman 
therefore remains eternally imprisoned in delu 
sions, bound by the fetters of desire and scourged 
by the whip of misery. But the man who has 
attained enlightenment sees that the apparent 
reality is mere illusion, or, as was said a couple of 
thousand years later, that there is nothing good 
nor bad but thinking makes it so. If the cosmos 
" is just and of our pleasant vices makes instru 
ments to scourge us," it would seem that the only 
way to escape from our heritage of evil is to 
destroy that fountain of desire whence our vices 
flow ; to refuse any longer to be the instruments 
of the evolutionary process, and withdraw from the 
struggle for existence. If the karma is modifiable 
by self-discipline, if its coarser desires, one after 
another, can be extinguished, the ultimate funda- 


mental desire of self-assertion, or the desire to be, 
may also be destroyed. 7 Then the bubble of 
illusion will burst, and the freed individual At- 
man will lose itself in the universal Brahma. 

Such seems to have been the pre-Buddhistic 
conception of salvation, and of the way to be 
followed by those who would attain thereto. No 
more thorough mortification of the flesh has ever 
been attempted than that achieved by the Indian 
ascetic anchorite ; no later monachism has so 
nearly succeeded in reducing the human mind to 
that condition of impassive quasi-somnambulism, 
which, but for its acknowledged holiness, might 
run the risk of being confounded with idiocy. 

And this salvation, it will be observed, was to 
be attained through knowledge, and by action 
based on that knowledge ; just as the experi 
menter, who would obtain a certain physical or 
chemical result, must have a knowledge of the 
natural laws involved and the persistent disciplined 
will adequate to carry out all the various opera 
tions required. The supernatural, in our sense of 
the term, was entirely excluded. There was no 
external power which could affect the sequence of 
cause and effect which gives rise to karma ; none 
but the will of the subject of the karma which 
could put an end to it. 

Only one rule of conduct could be based upon 
the remarkable theory of which I have endeavoured 
to give a reasoned outline. It was folly to continue 


to exist when an overplus of pain was certain ; 
and the probabilities in favour of the increase of 
misery with the prolongation of existence, were 
so overwhelming. Slaying the body only made 
matters worse ; there was nothing for it but to 
slay the soul by the voluntary arrest of all its 
activities. Property, social ties, family affections, 
common companionship, must be abandoned ; the 
most natural appetites, even that for food, must 
be suppressed, or at least minimized ; until all 
that remained of a man was the impassive, 
extenuated, mendicant monk, self-hypnotised 
into cataleptic trances, which the deluded mystic 
took for foretastes of the final union with 

The founder of Buddhism accepted the chief 
postulates demanded by his predecessors. But he 
was not satisfied with the practical annihilation 
involved in merging the individual existence in 
the unconditioned the Atman in Brahma. It 
would seem that the admission of the existence of 
any substance whatever even of the tenuity of 
that which has neither quality nor energy and of 
which no predicate whatever can be asserted 
appeared to him to be a danger and a snare. 
Though reduced to a hypostatized negation, 
Brahma was not to be trusted ; so long as entity 
was there, it might conceivably resume the weary 
round of evolution, with all its train of immeasur 
able miseries. Gautama got rid of even that 



shade of a, shadow of permanent existence by a 
metaphysical tour de force of great interest to the 
student of philosophy, seeing that it supplies the 
wanting half of Bishop Berkeley s well-known 
idealistic argument. 

Granting the premises, I am not aware of any 
escape from Berkeley s conclusion, that the sub 
stance of matter is a metaphysical unknown 
quantity, of the existence of which there is no 
proof. What Berkeley does not seem to have so 
clearly perceived is that the non-existence of a 
substance of mind is equally arguable ; and that 
the result of the impartial applications of his 
reasonings is the reduction of the All to co 
existences and sequences of phenomena, beneath 
and beyond which there is nothing cognoscible. 
It is a remarkable indication of the subtlety of 
Indian speculation that Gautama should have 
seen deeper than the greatest of modern idealists ; 
though it must be admitted that, if some of 
Berkeley s reasonings respecting the nature of 
spirit are pushed home, they reach pretty much 
the same conclusion. 8 

Accepting the prevalent Brahminical doctrine 
that the whole cosmos, celestial, terrestrial, and 
infernal, with its population of gods and other 
celestial beings, of sentient animals, of Mara and 
his devils, is incessantly shifting through recurring 
cycles of production and destruction, in each of 
which every human being has his transmigratory 


representative, Gautama proceeded to eliminate 
substance altogether ; and to reduce the cosmos 
to a mere flow of sensations, emotions, volitions, 
and thoughts, devoid of any substratum. As, on 
the surface of a stream of water, we see ripples 
and whirlpools, which last for a while and then 
vanish with the causes that gave rise to them, so 
what seem individual existences are mere tem 
porary associations of phenomena circling round a 
centre, " like a dog tied to a post." In the whole 
universe there is nothing permanent, no eternal 
substance either of mind or of matter. Person 
ality is a metaphysical fancy ; and in very truth, 
not only we, but all things, in the worlds without 
end of the cosmic phantasmagoria, are such stuff 
as dreams are made of. 

What then becomes of karma ? Karma re 
mains untouched. As the peculiar form of energy 
we call magnetism may be transmitted from a 
loadstone to a piece of steel, from the steel to a 
piece of nickel, as it may be strengthened or 
weakened by the conditions to which it is sub 
jected while resident in each piece, so it seems to 
have been conceived that karma might be trans 
mitted from one phenomenal association to another 
by a sort of induction. However this may be, 
Gautama doubtless had a better guarantee for the 
abolition of transmigration, when no wrack of 
substance, either of Atman or of Brahma, was 
left behind * when, in short, a man had but to 

F 2 


dream that he willed not to dream, to put an end 
to all dreaming. 

This end of life s dream is Nirvana. What 
Nirvana is the learned do not agree. But, since 
the best original authorities tell us there is neither 
desire nor activity, nor any possibility of phenom 
enal reappearance for the sage who has entered 
Nirvana, it may be safely said of this acme of 
Buddhistic philosophy " the rest is silence." 9 

Thus there is no very great practical disagree 
ment between Gautama and his predecessors with 
respect to the end of action ; but it is otherwise 
as regards the means to that end. With just 
insight into human nature, Gautama declared 
extreme ascetic practices to be useless and indeed 
harmful. The appetites and the passions are not 
to be abolished by mere mortification of the body ; 
they must, in addition, be attacked on their own 
ground and conquered by steady cultivation of 
the mental habits which oppose them ; by uni 
versal benevolence ; by the return of good for 
evil ; by humility ; by abstinence from evil 
thought ; in short, by total renunciation of that 
self-assertion which is the essence of the cosmic 

Doubtless, it is to these ethical qualities that 
Buddhism owes its marvellous success. 10 A system 
which knows no God in the western sense ; which 
denies a soul to man ; which counts the belief in 
immortality a blunder and the hope of it a sin ; 


which refuses any efficacy to prayer and sacrifice ; 
which bids men look to nothing but their own 
efforts for salvation ; which, in its original purity, 
knew nothing of vows of obedience, abhorred in 
tolerance, and never sought the aid of the secular 
arm ; yet spread over a considerable moiety of the 
Old World with marvellous rapidity, and is still, 
with whatever base admixture of foreign super 
stitions, the dominant creed of a large fraction of 

Let us now set our faces westwards, towards 
Asia Minor and Greece and Italy, to view the rise 
and progress of another philosophy, apparently 
independent, but no less pervaded by the concep 
tion of evolution. 11 

The sages of Miletus were pronounced evolu 
tionists ; and, however dark may be some of the 
sayings of Heracleitus of Ephesus, who was prob 
ably a contemporary of Gautama, no better ex 
pressions of the essence of the modern doctrine 
of evolution can be found than are presented by 
some of his pithy aphorisms and striking meta 
phors. 12 Indeed, many of my present auditors 
must have observed that, more than once, I have 
borrowed from him in the brief exposition of the 
theory of evolution with which this discourse 

But when the focus of Greek intellectual activity 
shifted to Athens, the leading minds concentrated 


their attention upon ethical problems. Forsaking 
the study of the macrocosm for that of the micro 
cosm, they lost the key to the thought of the 
great Ephesian, which, I imagine, is more intelli 
gible to us than it was to Socrates, or to Plato. 
Socrates, more especially, set the fashion of a kind 
of inverse agnosticism, by teaching that the prob 
lems of physics lie beyond the reach of the 
human intellect ; that the attempt to solve them 
is essentially vain ; that the one worthy object of 
investigation is the problem of ethical life ; and 
his example was followed by the Cynics and the 
later Stoics. Even the comprehensive knowledge 
and the penetrating intellect of Aristotle failed to 
suggest to him that in holding the eternity of the 
world, within its present range of mutation, he was 
making a retrogressive step. The scientific herit 
age of Heracleitus passed into the hands neither 
of Plato nor of Aristotle, but into those of Demo- 
critus. But the world was not yet ready to 
receive the great conceptions of the philosopher of 
Abdera. It was reserved for the Stoics to return 
to the track marked out by the earlier philo 
sophers ; and, professing themselves disciples of 
Heracleitus, to develop the idea of evolution 
systematically. In doing this, they not only 
omitted some characteristic features of their 
master s teaching, but they made additions al 
together foreign to it. One of the most influ 
ential of these importations was the transcen- 


dental theism which had come into vogue. The 
restless, fiery energy, operating according to law, 
out of which all things emerge and into which 
they return, in the endless successive cycles of 
the great year ; which creates and destroys worlds 
as a wanton child builds up, and anon levels, sand 
castles on the seashore ; was metamorphosed into 
a material world-soul and decked out with all the 
attributes of ideal Divinity ; not merely with in 
finite power and transcendent wisdom, but with 
absolute goodness. 

The consequences of this step were momentous. 
For if the cosmos is the effect of an immanent, 
omnipotent, and infinitely beneficent cause, the ex 
istence in it of real evil, still less of necessarily 
inherent evil, is plainly inadmissible. 13 Yet the 
universal experience of mankind testified then, as 
now, that, whether we look within us or without 
us, evil stares us in the face on all sides ; that if 
anything is real, pain and sorrow and wrong are 

It would be a new thing in history if d priori 
philosophers were daunted by the factious oppo 
sition of experience ; and the Stoics were the last 
men to allow themselves to be beaten by mere 
facts. Give me a doctrine and I will find the 
reasons for it, said Chrysippus. So they per 
fected, if they did not invent, that ingenious and 
plausible form of pleading, the Theodicy ; for the 
purpose of showing firstly, that there is no such 


thing as evil ; secondly, that if there is, it is the 
necessary correlate of good ; and, moreover, that it 
is either due to our own fault, or inflicted for our 
benefit. Theodicies have been very popular in 
their time, and I believe that a numerous, though 
somewhat dwarfed, progeny of them still survives. 
So far as I know, they are all variations of the 
theme set forth in those famous six lines of the 
" Essay on Man," in which Pope sums up Boling- 
broke s reminiscences of stoical and other specu 
lations of this kind 

"All nature is but art, unknown to thce ; 
All chance, direction which thou canst not see ; 
All discord, harmony not understood ; 
All partial evil, universal good ; 
And spite of pride, in erring reason s spite 
One truth is clear: whatever is is right." 

Yet, surely, if there arc few more important 
truths than those enunciated in the first triad, the 
second is open to very grave objections. That 
there is a soul of good in things evil is un 
questionable ; nor will any wise man deny the 
disciplinary value of pain and sorrow. But these 
considerations do not help us to see why the im 
mense multitude of irresponsible sentient beings, 
which cannot profit by such discipline, should 
suffer ; nor why, among the endless possibilities 
open to omnipotence that of sinless, happy exist 
ence among the rest the actuality in which sin 
and misery abound should be that selected 


Surely it is mere cheap rhetoric to call arguments 
which have never yet been answered by even the 
meekest and the least rational of Optimists, sug 
gestions of the pride of reason. As to the con 
cluding aphorism, its fittest place would be as an 
inscription in letters of mud over the portal of 
some stye of Epicurus ; u for that is where the 
logical application of it to practice would land 
men, with every aspiration stifled and every effort 
paralyzed. Why try to set right what is right 
already ? Why strive to improve the best of all 
possible worlds ? Let us eat and drink, for as to 
day all is right, so to-morrow all will be. 

But the attempt of the Stoics to blind them 
selves to the reality of evil, as a necessary con 
comitant of the cosmic process, had less success 
than that of the Indian philosophers to exclude 
the reality of good from their purview. Unfor 
tunately, it is much easier to shut one s eyes to 
good than to evil. Pain and sorrow knock at our 
doors more loudly than pleasure and happiness ; 
and the prints of their heavy footsteps arc less 
easily effaced. Before the grim realities of 
practical life the pleasant fictions of optimism 
vanished. If this were the best of all possible 
worlds, it nevertheless proved itself a very incon 
venient habitation for the ideal sage. 

The stoical summary of the whole duty of man, 
Live according to nature, would seem to imply 
that the cosmic process is an exemplar for human 



conduct. Ethics would thus become applied 
Natural History. In fact, a confused employment 
of the maxim, in this sense, has done immeasur 
able mischief in later times. It has furnished an 
axiomatic foundation for the philosophy of philo- 
sophasters and for the moralizing of sentimentalists. 
But the Stoics were, at bottom, not merely noble, 
but sane, men ; and if we look closely into what 
they really meant by this ill-used phrase, it will 
be found to present no justification for the mis 
chievous conclusions that have been deduced 
from it. 

In the language of the Stoa, Nature was a 
word of many meanings. There was the Nature 
of the cosmos and the Nature of man. In the 
latter, the animal nature, which man shares 
with a moiety of the living part of the cosmos, was 
distinguished from a higher nature. Even in 
this higher nature there were grades of rank. 
The logical faculty is an instrument which may be 
turned to account for any purpose. The passions 
and the emotions are so closely tied to the lower 
nature that they may be considered to be patho 
logical, rather than normal, phenomena. The one 
supreme, hegemonic, faculty, which constitutes the 
essential c nature of man, is most nearly repre 
sented by that which, in the language of a later 
philosophy, has been called the pure reason. It is 
this nature which holds up the ideal of the 
supreme good and demands absolute submission of 



the will to its behests. It is this which commands 
all men to love one another, to return good for evil, to 
regard one another as fellow-citizens of one great 
state. Indeed, seeing that the progress towards 
perfection of a civilized state, or polity, depends 
on the obedience of its members to these com 
mands, the Stoics sometimes termed the pure 
reason the political nature. Unfortunately, 
the sense of the adjective has undergone so much 
modification, that the application of it to that 
which commands the sacrifice of self to the 
common good would now sound almost grotesque. 15 

But what part is played by the theory of evolu 
tion in this view of ethics ? So far as I can 
discern, the ethical system of the Stoics, which is 
essentially intuitive, and reverences the categorical 
imperative as strongly as that of any later 
moralists, might have been just what it was if they 
had held any other theory ; whether that of special 
creation, on the one side, or that of the eternal 
existence of the present order, on the other. 16 To 
the Stoic, the cosmos had no importance for the 
conscience, except in so far as he chose to think 
it a pedagogue to virtue. The pertinacious opti 
mism of our philosophers hid from them the actual 
state of the case. It prevented them from seeing 
that cosmic nature is no school of virtue, but the 
headquarters of the enemy of ethical nature. 
The logic of facts was necessary to convince them. 


that the cosmos works through the lower nature 
of man, not for righteousness, but against it. And 
it finally drove them to confess that the existence 
of their ideal " wise man " was incompatible with 
the nature of things ; that even a passable approxi 
mation to that ideal was to be attained only at the 
cost of renunciation of the world and mortification, 
not merely of the flesh, but of all human affec 
tions. . The state of perfection was that apa- 
theia 17 in which desire, though it may still be 
felt, is powerless to move the will, reduced to the 
sole function of executing the commands of pure 
reason. Even this residuum of activity was to be 
regarded as a temporary loan, as an efflux of the 
divine world-pervading spirit, chafing at its im 
prisonment in the flesh, until such time as death 
enabled it to return to its source in the all- 
pervading logos. 

I find it difficult to discover any very great 
difference between Apatheia and Nirvana, except 
that stoical speculation agrees with pre-Buddhistic 
philosophy, rather than with the teachings of 
Gautama, in so far as it postulates a perma 
nent substance equivalent to Brahma and 
Atman ; and that, in stoical practice, the 
adoption of the life of the mendicant cynic was 
held to be more a counsel of perfection than an 
indispensable condition of the higher life. 

Thus the extremes touch. Greek thought and 


Indian thought set out from ground common to 
both, diverge widely, develop under very different 
physical and moral conditions, and finally converge 
to practically the same end. 

The Vedas and the Homeric epos set before -us 
a world of rich and vigorous life, full of joyous 
fighting men 

That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine .... 

and who were ready to brave the very Gods them 
selves when their blood was up. A few centuries 
pass away, and under the influence of civilization 
the descendants of these men are sicklied o er 
with the pale cast of thought frank pessimists, 
or, at best, make-believe optimists. The courage 
of the warlike stock may be as hardly tried as 
before, perhaps more hardly, but the enemy is 
self. The hero has become a monk. The man of 
action is replaced by the quietist, whose highest 
aspiration is to be the passive instrument of the 
divine Reason. By the Tiber, as by the Ganges, 
ethical man admits that the cosmos is too strong 
for him ; and, destroying every bond which ties 
him to it by ascetic discipline, he seeks salvation 
in absolute renunciation. 18 

Modern thought is making a fresh start from 
the base whence Indian and Greek philosophy set 
out ; and, the human mind being very much what 


it was six-and-twenty centuries ago, there is no 
ground for wonder if it presents indications of a 
tendency to move along the old lines to the same 

We are more than sufficiently familiar with 
modern pessimism, at least as a speculation ; for I 
cannot call to mind that any of its present votaries 
have sealed their faith by assuming the rags arid 
the bowl of the mendicant Bhikku, or the cloak 
and the wallet of the Cynic. The obstacles placed 
in the way of sturdy vagrancy by an unphiloso- 
phical police have, perhaps, proved too formidable 
for philosophical consistency. We also know 
modern speculative optimism, with its perfectibility 
of the species, reign of peace, and lion and lamb 
transformation scenes ; but one does not hear so 
much of it as one did forty years ago ; indeed, I 
imagine it is to be met with more commonly at 
the tables of the healthy and wealthy, than in the 
congregations of the wise. The majority of us, I 
apprehend, profess neither pessimism nor optimism. 
We hold that the world is neither so good, nor so 
bad, as it conceivably might be ; and, as most of 
us have reason, now and again, to discover that it 
can be. Those who have failed to experience the 
joys that make life worth living are, probably, in 
as small a minority as those who have never 
known the griefs that rob existence of its savour 
and turn its richest fruits into mere dust and 


Further, I think I do not err in assuming that, 
however diverse their views on philosophical and 
religious matters, most men are agreed that the 
proportion of good and evil in life may be very 
sensibly affected by human action. I never heard 
anybody doubt that the evil may be thus increased, 
or diminished ; and it would seem to follow that 
good must be similarly susceptible of addition or 
subtraction. Finally, to my knowledge, nobody 
professes to doubt that, so far forth as we possess 
a power of bettering things, it is our paramount 
duty to use it and to train all our intellect and 
energy to this supreme service of our kind. 

Hence the pressing interest of the question, to 
what extent modern progress in natural know 
ledge, and, more especially, the general outcome 
of that progress in the doctrine of evolution, is 
competent to help us in the great work of helping 
one another ? 

The propounders of what are called the " ethics 
of evolution," when the evolution of ethics 
would usually better express the object of their 
speculations, adduce a number of more or less in 
teresting facts and more or less sound arguments, 
in favour of the origin of the moral sentiments, 
in the same way as other natural phenomena, by 
a process of evolution. I have little doubt, for my 
own part, that they are on the right track ; but as 
the immoral sentiments have no less been evolved, 
there is, so far, as much natural sanction for the 


one as the other. The thief and the murderer 
follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. 
Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and 
the evil tendencies of man may have come about ; 
but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any 
better reason why what we call good is preferable 
to what we call evil than we had before. Some 
day, I doubt not, we shall arrive at an understand 
ing of the evolution of the aesthetic faculty ; but 
all the understanding in the world will neither 
increase nor diminish the force of the intuition 
that this is beautiful and that is ugly. 

There is another fallacy which appears to me to 
pervade the so-called " ethics of evolution." It is 
the notion that because, on the whole, animals 
and plants have advanced in perfection of organ 
ization by means of the struggle for existence and 
the consequent * survival of the fittest ; therefore 
men in society, men as ethical beings, must look 
to the same process to help them towards per 
fection. I suspect that this fallacy has arisen out 
of the unfortunate ambiguity of the phrase sur 
vival of the fittest. Fittest has a connotation of 
best ; and about best there hangs a moral 
flavour. In cosmic nature, however, what is 
fittest depends upon the conditions. Long since, 19 
I ventured to point out that if our hemisphere 
were to cool again, the survival of the fittest might 
bring about, in the vegetable kingdom, a popula 
tion of more and more stunted and humbler and 


humbler organisms, until the fittest that sur 
vived might be nothing but lichens, diatoms, and 
such microscopic organisms as those which give 
red snow its colour ; while, if it became hotter, the 
pleasant valleys of the Thames and Isis might be 
uninhabitable by any animated beings save those 
that flourish in a tropical jungle. They, as the 
fittest, the best adapted to the changed conditions, 
would survive. 

Men in society are undoubtedly subject to the 
cosmic process. As among other animals, multi 
plication goes on without cessation, and involves 
severe competition for the means of support. The 
struggle for existence tends to eliminate those less 
fitted to adapt themselves to the circumstances 
of their existence. The strongest, the most self- 
assertive, tend to tread down the weaker. But 
the influence of the cosmic process on the evolu 
tion of society is the greater the more rudimentary 
its civilization. Social progress means a checking 
of the cosmic process at every step and the sub 
stitution for it of another, which may be called 
the ethical process ; the end of which is not the 
survival of those who may happen to be the 
fittest, in respect of the whole of the conditions 
which obtain, but of those who are ethically the 
best. 20 

As I have already urged, the practice of that 
which is ethically best what we call goodness or 
virtue involves a course of conduct which, in all 



respects, is opposed to that which leads to success 
in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of 
ruthless self-assertion it demands self-restraint ; 
in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all 
competitors, it requires that the individual shall 
not merely respect, but shall help his fellows ; its 
influence is directed, not so much to the survival 
of the fittest, as to the fitting of as many as pos 
sible to survive. It repudiates the gladiatorial 
theory of existence. It demands that each man 
who enters into the enjoyment of the advantages 
of a polity shall be mindful of his debt to those 
who have laboriously constructed it ; and shall 
take heed that no act of his weakens the fabric in 
which he has been permitted to live. Laws and 
moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing 
the cosmic process and reminding the individual 
of his duty to the community, to the protection 
and influence of which he owes, if not existence 
itself, at least the life of something better than a 
brutal savage. 

It is from neglect of these plain considerations 
that the fanatical individualism 21 of our time 
attempts to apply the analogy of cosmic nature to 
society. Once more we have a misapplication of 
the stoical injunction to follow nature ; the duties 
of the individual to the state are forgotten, and his 
tendencies to self-assertion are dignified by the 
name of rights. It is seriously debated whether 
the members of a community are justified in 


using their combined strength to constrain one of 
their number to contribute his share to the main 
tenance of it ; or even to prevent him from doing 
his best to destroy it. The struggle for existence, 
which has done such admirable work in cosmic 
nature, must, it appears, be equally beneficent in 
the ethical sphere. Yet if that which I have in 
sisted upon is true ; if the cosmic process has no 
sort of relation to moral ends ; if the imitation of 
it by man is inconsistent with the first principles 
of ethics ; what becomes of this surprising theory ? 

Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical 
progress of society depends, not on imitating the 
cosmic process, still less in running away from it, 
but in combating it. It may seem an audacious 
proposal thus to pit the microcosm against the 
macrocosm and to set man to subdue nature to his 
higher ends; but I venture to think that the 
great intellectual difference between the ancient 
times with which we have been occupied and our 
day, lies in the solid foundation we have acquired 
for the hope that such an enterprise may meet 
with a certain measure of success. 

The history of civilization details the steps by 
which men have succeeded in building up an 
artificial world within the cosmos. Fragile reed 
as he may be, man, as Pascal says, is a thinking 
reed : 22 there lies within him a fund of energy, 
operating intelligently and so far akin to that 
which pervades the universe, that it is competent 

G 2 



to influence and modify the cosmic process. In 
virtue of his intelligence, the dwarf bends the 
Titan to his will. In every family, in every polity 
that has been established, the cosmic process in 
man has been restrained and otherwise modified 
by law and custom ; in surrounding nature, it has 
been similarly influenced by the art of the shep 
herd, the agriculturist, the artisan. As civilization 
has advanced, so has the extent of this interfer 
ence increased ; until the organized and highly 
developed sciences and arts of the present day 
have endowed man with a command over the 
course of non-human nature greater than that 
once attributed to the magicians. The most im 
pressive, I might say startling, of these changes 
have been brought about in the course of the last 
two centuries ; while a right comprehension of the 
process of life and of the means of influencing 
its manifestations is only just dawning upon us. 
We do not yet see our way beyond generalities ; 
and we are befogged by the obtrusion of false 
analogies and crude anticipations. But Astro 
nomy, Physics, Chemistry, have all had to pass 
through similar phases, before they reached the 
stage at which their influence became an import 
ant factor in human affairs. Physiology, Psycho 
logy, Ethics, Political Science, must submit to the 
same ordeal. Yet it seems to me irrational to 
doubt that, at no distant period, they will work as 
great a revolution in the sphere of practice. 


The theory of evolution encourages no millen 
nial anticipations. If, for millions of years, our 
globe has taken the upward road, yet, some time, 
the summit will be reached and the downward 
route will be commenced. The most daring 
imagination will hardly venture upon the sugges 
tion that the power and the intelligence of man 
can ever arrest the procession of the great year. 

Moreover, the cosmic nature born with us and, 
to a large extent, necessary for our maintenance, 
is the outcome of millions of years of severe train 
ing, and it would be folly to imagine that a few 
centuries will suffice to subdue its masterfulness 
to purely ethical ends. Ethical nature may count 
upon having to reckon with a tenacious and 
powerful enemy as long as the world lasts. But, 
on the other hand, I see no limit to the extent to 
which intelligence and will, guided by sound prin 
ciples of investigation, and organized in common 
effort, may modify the conditions of existence, for 
a period longer than that now covered by history. 
And much may be done to change the nature of 
man himself. 23 The intelligence which has con 
verted the brother of the wolf into the faithful 
guardian of the flock ought to be able to do some 
thing towards curbing the instincts of savagery 
in civilized men. 

But if we may permit ourselves a larger hope 
of abatement of the essential evil of the world than 
was possible to those who, in the infancy of exact 


knowledge, faced the problem of existence more 
than a score of centuries ago, I deem it an essen 
tial condition of the realization of that hope that 
we should cast aside the notion that the escape 
from pain and sorrow is the proper object of life. 

We have long since emerged from the heroic 
childhood of our race, when good and evil could 
be met with the same frolic welcome ; the 
attempts to escape from evil, whether Indian or 
Greek, have ended in flight from the battle-field ; 
it remains to us to throw aside the youthful over- 
confidence and the no less youthful discourage 
ment of nonage. We are grown men, and must 

play the man 

strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield, 

cherishing the good that falls in our way, and 
bearing the evil, in and around us, with stout 
hearts set on diminishing it. So for, we all may 
strive in one faith towards one hope : 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down, 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 

.... but something ere the end, 

Some work of noble note may yet be done. (- 4 ) 


Note 1 (p. 49). 

I HAVE been careful to speak of the " appearance " 
of cyclical evolution presented by living things ; for, 
on critical examination, it will be found that the 
course of vegetable and of animal life is not exactly 
represented by the figure of a cycle which returns 
into itself. What actually happens, in all but the 
lowest organisms, is that one part of the growing 
germ (.4) gives rise to tissues and organs; while 
another part (B) remains in its primitive condition, 
or is but slightly modified. The moiety A becomes 
the body of the adult and, sooner or later, perishes, 
while portions of the moiety B are detached and, as 
offspring, continue the life of the species. Thus, if 
we trace back an organism along the direct line of 
descent from its remotest ancestor, B, as a whole, 
has never suffered death ; portions of it, only, have 
been cast off and died in each individual offspring. 

Everybody is familiar with the way in which the 
"suckers" of a strawberry plant behave. A thin 
cylinder of living tissue keeps on growing at its free 
end, until it attains a considerable length. At 


successive intervals, it develops buds which grow into 
strawberry plants ; and these become independent by 
the death of the parts of the sucker which connect 
them. The rest of the sucker, however, may go on 
living and growing indefinitely, and, circumstances 
remaining favourable, there is no obvious reason why 
it should ever die. The living substance B, in a 
manner, answers to the sucker. If we could restore 
the continuity which was once possessed by the por 
tions of B, contained in all the individuals of a direct 
line of descent, they would form a sucker, or stolon, on 
which these individuals would be strung, and which 
would never have wholly died. 

A species remains unchanged so long as the 
potentiality of development resident in B remains 
unaltered ; so long, e.g., as the buds of the strawberry 
sucker tend to become typical strawberry plants. In 
the case of the progressive evolution of a species, the 
developmental potentiality of B becomes of a higher 
and higher order. In retrogressive evolution, the 
contrary would be the case. The phenomena of 
atavism seem to show that retrogressive evolution, 
that is, the return of a species to one or other of its 
earlier forms, is a possibility to be reckoned with. 
The simplification of structure, which is so common 
in the parasitic members of a group, however, does 
not properly come under this head. The worm-like, 
limbless Lerncea has no resemblance to any of the 
stages of development of the many-limbed active 
animals of the group to which it belongs. 



Note 2 (p. 49) 

Heracleitus says, IIoTa/xa) yap OVK to-rt Sts (f 
TO> avra> ; but, to be strictly accurate, the river 
remains, though the water of which it is composed 
changes just as a man retains his identity though 
the whole substance of his body is constantly 

This is put very well by Seneca (Ep. Ivii. i. 20, Ed. 
Kuhkopf) : " Corpora nostra rapiuntur fluminum 
more, quidquid vides currit cum tempore ; nihil ex 
his quse videmus manet. Ego ipse dum loquor mutari 
ista, mutatus sum. Hoc est quod ait Heraclitus * In 
idem flumen bis non descendimus. Manet idem 
fluminis nomen, aqua transmissa est. Hoc in amne 
manifesting est quam in homine, sed nos quoque non 
minus velox cursus prater vehit." 

Note 3 (p. 55). 

" Multa bona nostra nobis nocent, timoris enim 
tormentum memoria reducit, providentia anticipat. 
Nemo tantum prsesentibus miser est." (Seneca, Ed. 
v. 7.) 

Among the many wise and weighty aphorisms of 
the Roman Bacon, few sound the realities of life more 
deeply than " Multa bona nostra nobis nocent." If 
there is a soul of good in things evil, it is at least 
equally true that there is a soul of evil in things 
good : for things, like men, have " les defauts de leurs 
qualitos. " It is one of the last lessons one learns 
from experience, but not the least important, that a 



heavy tax is levied upon all forms of success ; and 
that failure is one of the commonest disguises 
assumed by blessings. 

Note 4 (p. GO). 

" There is within the body of every man a soul 
which, at the death of the body, flies away from it 
like a bird out of a cage, and enters upon a new 
life . . . either in one of the heavens or one of the 
hells or on this earth. The only exception is the 
rare case of a man having in this life acquired a 
true knowledge of God. According to the pre- 
lluddhistic theory, the soul of such a man goes along 
the path of the Gods to God, and, being united with 
Him, enters upon an immortal life in which his 
individuality is not extinguished. In the latter theory, 
his soul is directly absorbed into the Great Soul, is 
lost in it, and has no longer any independent existence. 
The souls of all other men enter, after the death of 
the body, upon a new existence in one or other of 
the many different modes of being. If in heaven or 
hell, the soul itself becomes a god or demon without 
entering a body ; all superhuman beings, save the 
great gods, being looked upon as not eternal, but 
merely temporary creatures. If the soul returns to 
earth it may or may not enter a now body ; and this 
either of a human being, an animal, a plant, or even 
a material object. For all these are possessed of 
souls, and there is no essential difference between 
these souls and the souls of men all being alike 
mere sparks of the Great Spirit, who is the only real 


existence." (Rhys Davids, Hibbert Lectures, 1881, 
p. 83.) 

For what I have said about Indian Philosophy, I 
am particularly indebted to the luminous exposition 
of primitive Buddhism and its relations to earlier 
Hindu thought, which is given by Prof. Rhys Davids 
in his remarkable Hibbert Lectures for 1881, and 
Buddhism (1890). The only apology I can offer for 
the freedom with w^hich I have borrowed from him 
in these notes, is my desire to leave no doubt as to 
my indebtedness. I have also found Dr. Oldenberg s 
Buddha (Ed. 2, 1890) very helpful. The origin of 
the theory of transmigration stated in the above 
extract is an unsolved problem. That it differs 
widely from the Egyptian metempsychosis is clear. 
In fact, since men usually people the other world 
with phantoms of this, the Egyptian doctrine would 
seem to presuppose the Indian as a more archaic 

Prof. Rhys Davids has fully insisted upon the 
ethical importance of the transmigration theory. 
" One of the latest speculations now being put forward 
among ourselves would seek to explain each man s 
character, and even his outward condition in life, by 
the character he inherited from his ancestors, a 
character gradually formed during a practically 
endless series of past existences, modified only by the 
conditions into which he was born, those very con 
ditions being also, in like manner, the last result of 
a practically endless series of past causes. Gotama s 
speculation might be stated in the same words. But 
it attempted also to explain, in a way different from 



that which would be adopted by the exponents of 
the modern theory, that strange problem which it 
is also the motive of the wonderful drama of the 
book of Job to explain the fact that the actual 
distribution here of good fortune, or misery, is 
entirely independent of the moral qualities which 
men call good or bad. "We cannot wonder that a 
teacher, whose whole system was so essentially an 
ethical reformation, should have felt it incumbent 
upon him to seek an explanation of this apparent 
injustice. And all the more so, since the belief he 
had inherited, the theory of the transmigration of 
souls, had provided a solution perfectly sufficient to 
any one who could accept that belief." (Hibbert 
Lectures, p. 93.) I should venture to suggest the 
substitution of largely for entirely in the fore 
going passage. Whether a ship makes a good or a 
bad voyage is largely independent of the conduct of 
the captain, but it is largely affected by that con 
duct. Though powerless before a hurricane he may 
weather many a bad gale. 

Note 5 (p. 61). 

The outward condition of the soul is, in each new 
birth, determined by its actions in a previous birth ; 
but by each action in succession, and not by the 
balance struck after the evil has been reckoned off 
against the good. A good man who has once uttered 
a slander may spend a hundred thousand years as a 
god, in consequence of his goodness, and when the 
power of his good actions is exhausted, may bo born 


as a dumb man on account of his transgression ; and 
a robber who has once done an act of mercy, may 
come to life in a king s body as the result of his 
virtue, and then suffer torments for ages in hell or 
as a ghost without a body, or be re-born many times 
as a slave or an outcast, in consequence of his evil 

" There is no escape, according to this theory, from 
the result of any act ; though it is only the conse 
quences of its own acts that each soul has to endure. 
The force has been set in motion by itself and can 
never stop ; and its effect can never be foretold. If evil, 
it can never be modified or prevented, for it depends 
on a cause already completed, that is now for ever 
beyond the soul s control. There is even no continuing 
consciousness, no memory of the past that could guide 
the soul to any knowledge of its fate. The only 
advantage open to it is to add in this life to the sum 
of its good actions, that it may bear fruit with the 
rest. And even this can only happen in some future 
life under essentially the same conditions as the pre 
sent one : subject, like the present one, to old age, 
decay, and death ; and affording opportunity, like the 
present one, for the commission of errors, ignorances, 
or sins, which in their turn must inevitably produce 
their due effect of sickness, disability, or woe. Thus 
is the soul tossed about from life to life, from billow 
to billow in the great ocean of transmigration. And 
there is no escape save for the very few, who, during 
their birth as men, attain to a right knowledge of the 
Great Spirit : and thus enter into immortality, or, as 
the later philosophers taught, are absorbed into the 


Divine Essence." (Rhys Davids, Hibbert Lecture*, pp. 
85, 86.) 

The state after death thus imagined by the Hindu 
philosophers has a certain analogy to the purgatory 
of the Roman Church ; except that escape from it is 
dependent, not on a divine decree modified, it may be, 
by sacerdotal or saintly intercession, but by the acts 
of the individual himself ; and that while ultimate 
emergence into heavenly bliss of the good, or well- 
prayed for, Catholic is professedly assured, the chances 
in favour of the attainment of absorption, or of 
Nirvana, by any individual Hindu are extremely 

Note 6 (p. 62). 

" That part of the then prevalent transmigration 
theory which could not be proved false seemed to 
meet a deeply felt necessity, seemed to supply a 
moral cause which would explain the unequal distri 
bution here of happinesss or woe, so utterly inconsis 
tent with the present characters of men." Gautama 
" still therefore talked of men s previous existence, 
but by no means in the way that he is generally 
represented to have done/ What he taught was 
" the transmigration of character." He held that 
after the death of any being, whether human or 
not, there survived nothing at all but that being s 
* Karma, the result, that is, of its mental and bodily 
actions. Every individual, whether human or divine, 
was the last inheritor and the last result of the 
Karma of a long series of pnst individuals a series 


so long that its beginning is beyond the reach of 
calculation, and its end will be coincident with the 
destruction of the world." (Rhys Davids, Hibbert 
Lectures, p. 92.) 

In the theory of evolution, the tendency of a germ 
to develop according to a certain specific type, e.g. of 
the kidney bean seed to grow into a plant having all 
the characters of Phaseolus vulgaris, is its Karma. 
It is the " last inheritor and the last result " of all 
the conditions that have affected a line of ancestry 
Avhich goes back for many millions of years to the 
time when life first appeared on the earth. The 
moiety B of the substance of the bean plant (see 
Note 1) is the last link in a once continuous chain 
extending from the primitive living substance : and 
the characters of the successive species to which it 
has given rise are the manifestations of its gradually 
modified Karma. As Prof. Rhys Davids aptly says, 
the snowdrop " is a snowdrop and not an oak, and 
just that kind of snowdrop, because it is the outcome 
of the Karma of an endless series of past existences." 
(Hibbert Lectures, p. 114.) 

Xote 7 (p. 64). 

" It is interesting to notice that the very point 
which is the weakness of the theory the supposed 
concentration of the effect of the Karma in one new 
being presented itself to the early Buddhists them 
selves as a difficulty. They avoided it, partly by 
explaining that it was a particular thirst in the 
creature dying (a craving, Tanha, which plays other- 


wise a great part in the Buddhist theory) which 
actually caused the birth of the new individual who 
was to inherit the Karma of the former one. But, 
how this took place, how the craving desire produced 
this effect, was acknowledged to be a mystery patent 
only to a Buddha." (Rhys Davids, Hibbert Lectures, 
p. 95.) 

Among the many parallelisms of Stoicism and 
Buddhism, it is curious to find one for this Tanha, 
thirst, or craving desire for life. Seneca writes 
(Kpist. Ixxvi. 18): "Si enim ullum aliud est bonum 
quam honestum, sequetur nos aviditas vitce aviditas 
rerum vitam instruentium : quod est intolerable 
infinitum, vagum." 

Note 8 (p. 66). 

" The distinguishing characteristic of Buddhism 
was that it started a new line, that it looked upon 
the deepest questions men have to solve from an 
entirely different standpoint. It swept away from 
the field of its vision the whole of the great soul- 
theory which had hitherto so completely filled and 
dominated the minds of the superstitious and the 
thoughtful alike. For the first time in the history 
of the world, it proclaimed a salvation which each 
man could gain for himself and by himself, in this 
world, during this life, without any the least reference 
to God, or to Gods, either great or small. Like the 
Upanishads, it placed the first importance on know 
ledge ; but it was no longer a knowledge of God, it 
was a clear perception of the real nature, as they 


supposed it to be, of men and things. And it added 
to the necessity of knowledge, the necessity of purity, 
of courtesy, of uprightness, of peace and of a universal 
love far reaching, grown great and beyond measure." 
(Rhys Davids, Hibbert Lectures, p. 29.) 

The contemporary Greek philosophy takes an 
analogous direction. According to Heracleitus, the 
universe was made neither by Gods nor men ; but, 
from all eternity, has been, and to all eternity, 
will be, immortal fire, glowing and fading in 
due measure. (Mullach, Heracliti Fraymenta, 27.) 
And the part assigned by his successors, the 
Stoics, to the knowledge and the volition of the * wise 
man made their Divinity (for logical thinkers) a 
subject for compliments, rather than a power to be 
reckoned with. In Hindu speculation the Arahat/ 
still more the * Buddha, becomes the superior of 
Brahma ; the stoical * wise man is, at least, the 
equal of Zeus. 

Berkeley affirms over and over again that no idea can 
be formed of a soul or spirit " If any man shall doubt 
of the truth of what is here delivered, let him but 
reflect and try if he can form any idea of power or 
active being ; and whether he hath ideas of two 
principal pow r ers marked by the names of will and 
understanding distinct from each other, as well as 
from a third idea of substance or being in general, 
with a relative notion of its supporting or being the 
subject of the aforesaid power, which is signified by 
the name soul or spirit. This is what some hold : 
but, so far as I can see, the words will, soul, spirit, 



do not stand for different ideas or, in truth, for any 
idea at all, but for something which is very different 
from ideas, and which, being an agent, cannot be like 
unto or represented by any idea whatever [though it 
must be owned at the same time, that we have some 
notion of soul, spirit, and the operations of the mind, 
such as willing, loving, hating, inasmuch as we know 
or understand the meaning of these words"]. (The 
Principles of Human Knowledge, Ixxvi. See also 
Ixxxix., cxxxv., cxlv.) 

It is open to discussion, I think, whether it is 
possible to have some notion of that of which we 
can form no * idea. 

Berkeley attaches several predicates to the 
" perceiving active being mind, spirit, soul or myself " 
(Parts I. II.) It is said, for example, to be "indi 
visible, incorporeal, unextended, and incorruptible." 
The predicate indivisible, though negative in form, 
has highly positive consequences. For, if perceiving 
active being is strictly indivisible, man s soul must 
be one with the Divine spirit : which is good Hindu 
or Stoical doctrine, but hardly orthodox Christian 
philosophy. If, on the other hand, the substance 
of active perceiving being is actually divided into 
the one Divine and innumerable human entities, 
how can the predicate indivisible be rigorously 
applicable to it? 

Taking the words cited, as they stand, they amount 
to the denial of the possibility of any knowledge of 
substance. Matter having been resolved into mere 
affections of spirit/ spirit melts away into an 
admittedly inconceivable and unknowable hypostasis 



of thought and power consequently the existence 
of anything in the universe beyond a flow of 
phenomena is a purely hypothetical assumption. 
Indeed a pyrrhonist might raise the objection that if 
* esse is percipi spirit itself can have no existence 
except as a perception, hypostatized into a self, or 
as a perception of some other spirit. In the former 
case, objective reality vanishes ; in the latter, there 
would seem to be the need of an infinite series of 
spirits each perceiving the others. 

It is curious to observe how very closely the 
phraseology of Berkeley sometimes approaches that 
of the Stoics : thus (cxlviii.) " It seems to be a 
general pretence of the unthinking herd that they 

cannot see God But, alas, we need only open our 

eyes to see the Sovereign Lord of all things with a 
more full and clear view, than we do any of our 

fellow-creatures we do at all times and in all 

places perceive manifest tokens of the Divinity : 
everything we see, hear, feel, or any wise perceive by 
sense, being a sign or effect of the power of God " 

cxlix. "It is therefore plain, that nothing can 

be more evident to any one that is capable of the 
least reflection, than the existence of God, or a spirit 
who is intimately present to our minds, producing in 
them all that variety of ideas or sensations which 
continually affect us, on whom we have an absolute 
and entire dependence, in short, in whom we live and 
move and have our being." cl. [But you will say hath 
Nature no share in the production of natural things, 
and must they be all ascribed to the immediate and 

sole operation of God ? if by Nature is meant some 

H 2 


being distinct from God, as well as from the laws of 
nature and things perceived by sense, I must confess 
that word is to me an empty sound, without any 
intelligible meaning annexed to it.] Nature in this 
acceptation is a vain Chimc&ra introduced by those 
heathens, who had not just notions of the omni 
presence and infinite perfection of God." 

Compare Seneca (De JJeneficiis, iv. 7) : 

" Natura, inquit, hiBc mihi pnestat. Non intelligis 
te, quum hoc dicis, mutare Nomen Deo ? Quid enim 
est aliud Natura quam Deus, et divina ratio, toti 
mundo et partibus ejus inserta 1 Quoties voles tibi 
licet aliter hunc auctorem rerum iiostrarum coin- 
pellare, et Joveni ilium optimum et maximum rite 
dices, et tonantem, et statorem : qui non, ut historic! 
tradiderunt, ex eo quod post votum susceptum acies 
Romanorum fugientum stetit, sed quod stant beneficio 
ejus onmia, stator, stabilitorque est : hunc eundem et 
fatum si dixeris, non mentieris, nam quum fatum 
nihil aliud est, quam series implexa causarum, ille est 
prima omnium causa, ea qua creterae pendent." It 
would appear, therefore, that the good Bishop is 
somewhat hard upon the heathen, of whose words 
his own might be a paraphrase. 

There is yet another direction in which Berkeley s 
philosophy, I will not say agrees with Gautama s, but 
at any rate helps to make a fundamental dogma of 
Buddhism intelligible. 

* I find I can excite ideas in my mind at pleasure, 
and vary and shift the scene as often as I think fit. 
It is no more than willing, and straightway this or 
that idea arises in my fancy : and by the same power, 

n NOTES 101 

it is obliterated, and makes way for another. This 
making and unmaking of ideas doth very properly 
denominate the mind active. This much is certain 
and grounded on experience. . . ." (Principles, 

A good many of us, I fancy, have reason to think 
that experience tells them very much the contrary ; 
and are painfully familiar with the obsession of the 
mind by ideas which cannot be obliterated by any 
effort of the will and steadily refuse to make way for 
others. But what I desire to point out is that if 
Gautama was equally confident that he could * make 
and unmake ideas then, since he had resolved 
self into a group of ideal phantoms the possibility 
of abolishing self by volition naturally followed. 

Note 9 (p. 68). 

According to Buddhism, the relation of one life to 
the next is merely that borne by the flame of one 
lamp to the flame of another lamp which is set alight 
by it. To the Arahat or adept " no outward form, 
no compound thing, no creature, no creator, no 
existence of any kind, must appear to be other than a 
temporary collocation of its component parts, fated 
inevitably to be dissolved." (Rhys Davids, Hibbert 
Lectures, p. 211.) 

The self is nothing but a group of phenomena held 
together by the desire of life ; when that desire shall 
have ceased, " the Karma of that particular chain of 
lives will cease to influence any longer any distinct 
individual, and there will be no more birth ; for 


birth, decay, and death, grief, lamentation, and 
despair will have coine, so far as regards that chain of 
lives, for ever to an end." 

The state of mind of the Arahat in which the 
desire of life has ceased is Nirvana. Dr. Oldenberg 
has very acutely and patiently considered the various 
interpretations which have been attached to 
Nirvana in the work to which I have referred (pp. 
285 et seq.). The result of his and other discussions 
of the question may I think be briefly stated thus : 

1. Logical deduction from the predicates attached 
to the term Nirvana strips it of all reality, con- 
ceivability, or perceivability, whether by Gods or 
men. For all practical purposes, therefore, it comes 
to exactly the same thing as annihilation. 

2. But it is not annihilation in the ordinary sense, 
inasmuch as it could take place in the living Arahat 
or Buddha. 

3. And, since, for the faithful Buddhist, that which 
was abolished in the Arahat was the possibility of 
further pain, sorrow, or sin ; and that which was 
attained was perfect peace ; his mind directed itself 
exclusively to this joyful consummation, and personi 
fied the negation of all conceivable existence and of 
all pain into a positive bliss. This was all the more 
easy, as Gautama refused to give any dogmatic 
definition of Nirvana. There is something analogous 
in the way in which people commonly talk of the 
1 happy release of a man who has been long suffer 
ing from mortal disease. According to their own 
views, it must always be extremely doubtful whether 
the man will be any happier after the release than 


before. But they do not choose to look at the 
matter in this light. 

The popular notion that, with practical, if not 
metaphysical, annihilation in view, Buddhism must 
needs be a sad and gloomy faith seems to be incon 
sistent with fact ; on the contrary, the prospect of 
Nirvana fills the true believer, not merely with 
cheerfulness, but with an ecstatic desire to reach it. 

Note 10 (p. 68). 

The influence of the picture of the personal quali 
ties of Gautama, afforded by the legendary anecdotes 
which rapidly grew into a biography of the Buddha ; 
and by the birth stories, which coalesced with the 
current folk-lore, and were intelligible to all the 
world, doubtless played a great part. Further, 
although Gautama appears not to have meddled with 
the caste system, he refused to recognize any dis 
tinction, save that of perfection in the way of salva 
tion, among his followers ; and by such teaching, no 
less than by the inculcation of love and benevolence 
to all sentient beings, he practically levelled every 
social, political, and racial barrier. A third im 
portant condition was the organization of the 
Buddhists into monastic communities for the stricter 
professors, while the laity were permitted a wide 
indulgence in practice and were allowed to hope for 
accommodation in some of the temporary abodes of 
bliss. With a few hundred thousand years of 
immediate paradise in sight, the average man could 
be content to shut his eyes to what might follow, 


Note 11 (p. 69). 

In ancient times it was the fashion, even among 
the Greeks themselves, to derive all Greek wisdom 
from Eastern sources : riot long ago it was as 
generally denied that Greek philosophy had any 
connection with Oriental speculation ; it seems 
probable, however, that the truth lies between these 

The Ionian intellectual movement does not stand 
alone. It is only one of several sporadic indications 
of the working of some powerful mental ferment over 
the whole of the area comprised between the ^Egean 
and Northern Hindostan during the eighth, seventh, 
and sixth centuries before our era. In these three 
hundred years, prophetism attained its apogee among 
the Semites of Palestine ; Zoroasterism grew and 
became the creed of a conquering race, the Iranic 
Aryans ; Buddhism rose and spread with marvellous 
rapidity among the Aryans of Hindostan; while 
scientific naturalism took its rise among the Aryans 
of Ionia. It would be difficult to find another three 
centuries which have given birth to four events of 
equal importance. All the principal existing 
religions of mankind have grown out of the first 
three : while the fourth is the little spring, now 
swollen into the great stream of positive science. So 
far as physical possibilities go, the prophet Jeremiah 
and the oldest Ionian philosopher might have met 
and conversed. If they had done so, they would 
probably have disagreed a good deal ; and it is in 
teresting to reflect that their discussions might have 

li NOTES 105 

embraced questions which, at the present day, are 
still hotly controverted. 

The old Ionian philosophy, then, seems to be only 
one of many results of a stirring of the moral and 
intellectual life of the Aryan and the Semitic popu 
lations of Western Asia. The conditions of this 
general awakening were doubtless manifold ; but 
there is one which modern research has brought into 
great prominence. This is the existence of extremely 
ancient and highly advanced societies in the valleys 
of the Euphrates and of the Nile. 

It is now known that, more than a thousand 
perhaps more than two thousand years before the 
sixth century B.C., civilization had attained a re 
latively high pitch among the Babylonians and the 
Egyptians. Not only had painting, sculpture, 
architecture, and the industrial arts reached a re 
markable development ; but in Chaldsea, at any rate, 
a vast amount of knowledge had been accumulated 
and methodized, in the departments of grammar, 
mathematics, astronomy, and natural history. Where 
such traces of the scientific spirit are visible, 
naturalistic speculation is rarely far off, though, so 
far as I know, no remains of an Accadian, or 
Egyptian, philosophy, properly so called, have yet 
been recovered. 

Geographically, Chaldaea occupied a central posi 
tion among the oldest seats of civilization. Com 
merce, largely aided by the intervention of those 
colossal pedlars, the Phoenicians, had brought Chaldaea 
into connection with all of them, for a thousand 
years before the epoch at present under consideration. 


And in the ninth, eighth, and seventh centuries, the 
Assyrian, the depositary of Chaldsean civilization, as 
the Macedonian and the Roman, at a later date, were 
the depositaries of Greek culture, had added irre 
sistible force to the other agencies for the wide dis 
tribution of Chaldaeau literature, art, and science. 

I confess that I find it difficult to imagine that the 
Greek immigrants who stood in somewhat the same 
relation to the Babylonians and the Egyptians as the 
later Germanic barbarians to the Romans of the 
Empire should not have been immensely influenced 
by the new life with which they became acquainted. 
But there is abundant direct evidence of the magni 
tude of this influence in certain spheres. I suppose it 
is not doubted that the Greek went to school with 
the Oriental for his primary instruction in reading, 
writing, and arithmetic ; and that Semitic theology 
supplied him with some of his mythological lore. 
Nor does there now seem to be any question about 
the large indebtedness of Greek art to that of 
Chaldaea and that of Egypt. 

But the manner of that indebtedness is very 
instructive. The obligation is clear, but its limits 
are no less definite. Nothing better exemplifies the 
indomitable originality of the Greeks than the 
relations of their art to that of the Orientals. Far 
from being subdued into mere imitators by the 
technical excellence of their teachers, they lost no 
time in bettering the instruction they received, using 
their models as mere stepping stones on the way 
to those unsurpassed and unsurpassable achievements 
which are all their own. The shibboleth of Art is 


the human figure. The ancient Chalda?ans and 
Egyptians, like the modern Japanese, did wonders in 
the representation of birds and quadrupeds ; they 
even attained to something more than respectability 
in human portraiture. But their utmost efforts never 
brought them within range of the best Greek embodi 
ments of the grace of womanhood, or of the severer 
beauty of manhood. 

It is worth while to consider the probable effect 
upon the acute and critical Greek mind of the conflict 
of ideas, social, political, and theological, which arose 
out of the conditions of life in the Asiatic colonies. 
The Ionian polities had passed through the whole 
gamut of social and political changes, from patriarchal 
and occasionally oppressive kingship to rowdy and 
still more burdensome mobship no doubt with 
infinitely eloquent and copious argumentation, on 
both sides, at every stage of their progress towards 
that arbitrament of force which settles most political 
questions. The marvellous speculative faculty, 
latent in the Ionian, had come in contact with 
Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Phoenician theologies and 
cosmogonies ; with the illuminati of Orphism and 
the fanatics arid dreamers of the Mysteries ; possibly 
with Buddhism and Zoroasterism ; possibly even 
with Judaism. And it has been observed that the 
mutual contradictions of antagonistic supernatural- 
isms are apt to play a large part among the genera 
tive agencies of naturalism. 

Thus, various external influences may have con 
tributed to the rise of philosophy among the Ionian 
Greeks of the sixth century. But the assimilative 


capacity of the Greek mind its power of Hellenizing 
whatever it touched has here worked so effectually, 
that, so far as I can learn, no indubitable traces of 
such extraneous contributions are now allowed to exist 
by the most authoritative historians of Philosophy. 
Nevertheless, I think it must be admitted that the 
coincidences between the Heracleito-stoical doctrines 
and those of the older Hindu philosophy are 
extremely remarkable. In both, the cosmos pursues 
an eternal succession of cyclical changes. The great 
year, answering to the Kalpa, covers an entire cycle 
from the origin of the universe as a fluid to its 
dissolution in fire " Humor initium, ignis exitus 
mundi," as Seneca has it. In both systems, there is 
immanent in the cosmos a source of energy, Brahma, 
or the Logos, which works according to fixed laws. 
The individual soul is an efflux of this world-spirit, 
and returns to it. Perfection is attainable only by 
individual effort, through ascetic discipline, and is 
rather a state of painlessness than of happiness ; if 
indeed it can be said to be a state of anything, save 
the negation of perturbing emotion. The hatchment 
motto "In Crelo Quies" would serve both Hindu and 
Stoic ; and absolute quiet is not easily distinguishable 
from annihilation. 

Zoroasterism, which, geographically, occupies a 
position intermediate between Hellenism and 
Hinduism, agrees with the latter in recognizing the 
essential evil of the cosmos ; but differs from both in 
its intensely anthropomorphic personification of the 
two antagonistic principles, to the one of which it 
ascribes all the good ; and, to the other, all the evil. 


In fact, it assumes the existence of two worlds, one 
good and one bad ; the latter created by the evil 
power for the purpose of damaging the former. The 
existing cosmos is a mere mixture of the two, and the 
last judgment is a root-and-branch extirpation of 
the work of Ahriman. 

Note 12 (p. 69). 

There is no snare in which the feet of a modern 
student of ancient lore are more easily entangled, 
than that which is spread by the similarity of the 
language of antiquity to modern modes of expression. 
I do not presume to interpret the obscurest of Greek 
philosophers ; all I wish is to point out, that his 
words, in the sense accepted by competent inter 
preters, fit modern ideas singularly well. 

So far as the general theory of evolution goes there 
is no difficulty. The aphorism about the river ; the 
figure of the child playing on the shore ; the kingship 
and fatherhood of strife, seem decisive. The 6805 avia 
Kara) fitr] expresses, with singular aptness, the cyclical 
aspect of the one process of organic evolution in 
individual plants and animals : yet it may be a 
question whether the Heracleitean strife included 
any distinct conception of the struggle for existence. 
Again, it is tempting to compare the part played by 
the Heracleitean fire with that ascribed by the 
moderns to heat, or rather to that cause of motion of 
which heat is one expression ; and a little ingenuity 
might find a foreshadowing of the doctrine of the 
conservation of energy, in the saying that all the 



things are changed into fire and fire into all things, 
as gold into goods and goods into gold. 

Xote 13 (p. 71). 
Popes lines in the Essay on Man (Ep. i. 267-8), 

"All are but parts of one stupendous whole, 
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul," 

simply paraphrase Seneca s "quern in hoc mimdo 
locum deus obtinet, hunc in homine animus : quod 
est illic materia, id nobis corpus est." (Ep. Ixv. 24) ; 
which again is a Latin version of the old Stoical 
doctrine, is U.TTO.V TOV 007x01; /xcpos Si^/cei 6 


So far as the testimony for the universality of what 
ordinary people call evil goes, there is nothing 
better than the writings of the Stoics themselves. 
They might serve as a storehouse for the epigrams of 
the ultra-pessimists. Heracleitus (circa 500 B.C.) 
says just as hard things about ordinary humanity 
a> liis disciples centuries later ; and there really 
seems no need to seek for the causes of this dark 
view of life in the circumstances of the time of 
Alexander s successors or of the early Emperors of 
Kome. To the man with an ethical ideal, the world, 
including himself, will always seem full of evil. 

X..t 14 (p. 73). 

I use the well-known phra>f. but decline respon 
sibility for the libel upon Kpirunis. whose doctrines 
were far less compatible with existence in a stye 


than those of the Cynics. If it were steadily borne 
in mind that the conception of the flesh as the 
source of evil, and the great saying Initium est 
salutis notitia peccati, are the property of Epicurus, 
fewer illusions about Epicureanism would pass 
muster for accepted truth. 

15 (p. 75). 

The Stoics said that man was a <Zov \oyucov 
<J>i\dXXr)Xov, or a rational, a political, and 
an altruistic or philanthropic animal. In their 
view, his higher nature tended to develop in these 
three directions, as a plant tends to grow up into 
its typical form. Since, without the introduction of 
any consideration of pleasure or pain, whatever 
thwarted the realization of its type by the plant 
might be said to be bad, and whatever helped it good ; 
so virtue, in the Stoical sense, as the conduct which 
tended to the attainment of the rational, political, 
and philanthropic ideal, was good in itself, and 
irrespectively of its emotional concomitants. 

Man is an " animal sociale communi bono genitum." 
The safety of society depends upon practical recog 
nition of the fact. 4 * Salva ante in esse societas nisi 
custodia et amore partiuoi non po- - Seneca. 

(De. Ira, ii. 31.) 

16 (p. 7 

The importance of the physical doctrine of the 
Stoics lies in its clear recognition of the universality 


of the law of causation, with its corollary, the order 
of nature : the exact form of that order is an altogether 
secondary consideration. 

Many ingenious persons now appear to consider that 
the incompatibility of pantheism, of materialism, and 
of any doubt about the immortality of the soul, with 
religion and morality, is to be held as an axiomatic 
truth. I confess that I have a certain difficulty in 
accepting this dogma. For the Stoics were notoriously 
materialists and pantheists of the most extreme 
character ; and while no strict Stoic believed in the 
eternal duration of the individual soul, some even 
denied its persistence after death. Yet it is equally 
certain that of all gentile philosophies, Stoicism 
exhibits the highest ethical development, is animated 
by the most religious spirit, and has exerted the 
profoimdest influence upon the moral and religious 
development not merely of the best men among 
the Romans, but among the moderns down to our 
own day. 

Seneca was claimed as a Christian and placed 
among the saints by the fathers of the early Christian 
Church ; and the genuineness of a correspondence 
between him and the apostle Paul has been hotly 
maintained in our own time, by orthodox writers. 
That the letters, as we possess them, are worthless 
forgeries is obvious ; and writers as wide apart as 
Baur and Lightfoot agree that the whole story is 
devoid of foundation. 

The dissertation of the late Bishop of Durham 
(Epistle to the PhUippians) is particularly worthy of 
study, apart from this question, on account of the 


evidence which it supplies of the numerous similarities 
of thought between Seneca and the writer of the 
Pauline epistles. When it is remembered that the 
writer of the Acts puts a quotation from Aratus, or 
Cleanthes, into the mouth of the apostle ; and that 
Tarsus was a great seat of philosophical and especially 
stoical learning (Chrysippus himself was a native of 
the adjacent town of Soli), there is no difficulty in 
understanding the origin of these resemblances. See, 
on this subject, Sir Alexander Grant s dissertation 
in his edition of 77*6 Ethics of Aristotle (where 
there is an interesting reference to the stoical 
character of Bishop Butler s ethics), the concluding 
pages of Dr. Weygoldt s instructive little work Die 
Philosophic der Stoa, and Aubertin s /Seneque et Saint 

It is surprising that a writer of Dr. Light foot s 
stamp should speak of Stoicism as a philosophy of 
despair. Surely, rather, it was a philosophy of 
men who, having cast off all illusions, and the childish 
ness of despair among them, were minded to endure 
in patience whatever conditions the cosmic process 
might create, so long as those conditions were com 
patible with the progress towards virtue, which alone, 
for them, conferred a worthy object on existence. 
There is no note of despair in the stoical declaration 
that the perfected wise man is the equal of Zeus 
in everything but the duration of his existence. 
And, in my judgment, there is as little pride about 
it, often as it serves for the text of discourses on 
stoical arrogance. Grant the stoical postulate that 
there is no good except virtue ; grant that the per- 



fected wise man is altogether virtuous, in consequence 
of being guided in all things by the reason, which is 
an effluence of Zeus, and there seems no escape from 
the stoical conclusion. 

Note 17 (p. 76). 

Our "Apathy" carries such a different set of 
connotations from its Greek original that I have 
ventured on usin the latter as a technical term. 

Note 18 (p. 77). 

Many of the stoical philosophers recommended 
their disciples to take an active share in public 
affairs ; and in the Roman world, for several 
centuries, the best public men were strongly inclined 
to Stoicism. Nevertheless, the logical tendency of 
Stoicism seems to me to be fulfilled only in such men 
as Diogenes and Epictetus. 

Note 19 (p. 80). 

"Criticisms on the Origin of Species," 1864. 
Collected Essays, vol. ii. p. 91. [1894.] 

Note 20 (p. 81). 

Of course, strictly speaking, social life, and the 
ethical process in virtue of which it advances towards 
perfection, are part and parcel of the general process 
of evolution, just as the gregarious habit of in- 


NOTES 115 

numerable plants and animals, which has been of 
immense advantage to them, is so. A hive of bees 
is an organic polity, a society in which the part 
played by each member is determined by organic 
necessities. Queens, workers, and drones are, so to 
speak, castes, divided from one another by marked 
physical barriers. Among birds and mammals, 
societies are formed, of which the bond in many cases 
seems to be purely psychological ; that is to say, it 
appears to depend upon the liking of the individuals 
for one another s company. The tendency of 
individuals to over self-assertion is kept down by 
fighting. Even in these rudimentary forms of society, 
love and fear come into play, and enforce a greater 
or less renunciation of self-will. To this extent the 
general cosmic process begins to be checked by a rudi 
mentary ethical process, which is, strictly speaking, 
part of the former, just as the governor in a steam- 
engine is part of the mechanism of the engine. 

Note 21 (p. 82). 

See " Government : Anarchy or Regimentation, * 
Collected Essays, vol. i. pp. 413 418. It is this 
form of political philosophy to which I conceive 
the epithet of reasoned savagery to be strictly 
applicable. [1894.] 

Note 22 (p. 83). 

" L homme n est qu un roseau, le plus faible do 
la nature, mais c est un roseau pensant. ]1 ne faut 

I 2 



pas que 1 univers entier s arme pour 1 ecraser. Une 
vapeur, une goutte d eau, suflit pour le tuer. Mais 
quand 1 univers 1 ecraserait, 1 liomme serait encore 
plus noble que ce qui le tue, parce qu il sait qu il 
meurt ; et 1 avantage que 1 univers a sur lui, 1 univers 
n en sait rien." Pensees de Pascal. 

Note 23 (p. 85). 

The use of the word " Nature " here may be criti 
cised. Yet the manifestation of the natural tendencies 
of men is so profoundly modified by training that it 
is hardly too strong. Consider the suppression of 
the sexual instinct between near relations. 

Note 24 (p. 86). 

A great proportion of poetry is addressed by the 
young to the young ; only the great masters of the 
art are capable of divining, or think it worth while 
to enler into, the feelings of retrospective age. The 
two great poets whom we have so lately lost, Tennyson 
and Browning, have done this, each in his own 
inimitable way ; the one in the Ulysses, from which 
I have borrowed ; the other in that wonderful 
fragment Childe Roland to the dark Tower came. 




IN spite of long and, perhaps, not unjustifiable 
hesitation, I begin to think that there must be 
something in telepathy. For evidence, which I 
may not disregard, is furnished by the last number 
of the " Fortnightly Review " that among the 
hitherto undiscovered endowments of the human 
species, there may be a power even more wonder 
ful than the mystic faculty by which the esoteric- 
ally Buddhistic sage " upon the farthest mountain 
in Cathay " reads the inmost thoughts of a dweller 
within the homely circuit of the London postal 
district. Great indeed is the insight of such a 
seer ; but how much greater is his who combines 
the feat of reading, not merely the thoughts of 
which the thinker is aware, but those of which 
he knows nothing ; who sees him unconsciously 
drawing the conclusions which he repudiates and 



supporting the doctrines which he detests. To 
reflect upon the confusion which the working of 
such a power as this may introduce into one s 
ideas of personality and responsibility is perilous 
madness lies that way. But truth is truth, and 
I am almost fain to believe in this magical visibi 
lity of the non-existent when the only alternative 
is the supposition that the writer of the article on 
" Materialism and Morality" in vol. xl. (1886) of 
the " Fortnightly Review," in spite of his manifest 
ability and honesty, has pledged himself, so far as 
I am concerned, to what, if I may trust my own 
knowledge of my own thoughts, must be called a 
multitude of errors of the first magnitude. 

I so much admire Mr. Lilly s outspokenness, I 
am so completely satisfied with the uprightness 
of his intentions, that it is repugnant to me to 
quarrel with anything he may say ; and I sympa 
thise so warmly with his manly scorn of the 
vileness of much that passes under the name of 
literature in these times, that I would willingly be 
silent under his by no means unkindly exposition 
of his theory of my own tenets, if I thought that 
such personal abnegation would serve the interest 
of the cause we both have at heart. But I cannot 
think so. My creed may be an ill-favoured thing, 
but it is mine own, as Touchstone says of his lady 
love ; and I have so high an opinion of the solid 
virtues of the object of my affections that I cannot 
calmly see her personated by a wench who is much 


uglier and has no virtue worth speaking of. I hope I 
should be ready to stand by a falling cause if I had 
ever adopted it ; but suffering for a falling cause, 
which onehas done one s best tobringto the ground, 
is a kind of martyrdom for which I have no taste. 
In my opinion, the philosophical theory which Mr. 
Lilly attributes to me but which I have over and 
over again disclaimed is untenable and destined 
to extinction ; and I not unreasonably demur to 
being counted among its defenders. 

After the manner of a un-din-val disputant, Mr. 
Lilly posts up three theses, which, as he con 
ceives, embody the chief heresies propagated by 
the late Professor Clifford, Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
and myself. He says that we agree "(1) in 
putting aside, as unverifiable, everything which 
the senses cannot verify ; (2) everything beyond 
the bounds of physical science ; (3) everything 
which cannot be brought into a laboratory and 
dr;dt with chemically" (p. 578). 

My lamented young friend Clifford, sweetest of 
natures though keenest of disputants, is out of 
reach of our little controversies, but his works 
speak for him, and those who run may read a 
refutation of Mr. Lilly s assertions in them. Mr. 
Herbert Spencer, hitherto, has shown no lack 
either of ability or of inclination to speak for 
himself; and it would be a superfluity, not to say 
an impertinence, on my part, to take up the 
cudgels for him. But, for myself, if my know- 


ledge of my own consciousness may be assumed to 
be adequate (and I make not the least pretension 
to acquaintance with what goes on in my " Un- 
bewusstsein "), I may be permitted to observe 
that the first proposition appears to me to be not 
true ; that the second is in the same case ; and 
that, if there be gradations in untrueness, the 
third is so monstrously untrue that it hovers on 
the verge of absurdity, even if it does not actually 
flounder in that logical limbo. Thus, to all three 
theses, I reply in appropriate fashion, Ncgo I say 
No ; and I proceed to state the grounds of that 
negation, which the proprieties do not permit me 
to make quite so emphatic as I could desire. 

Let me begin with the first assertion, that I 
" put aside, as unverifiable, everything which the 
senses cannot verify." Can such a statement as 
this be seriously made in respect of any human 
being ? But I am not appointed apologist for 
mankind in general; and confining my observa 
tions to myself, I beg leave to point out that, at 
this present moment, I entertain an unshakable 
conviction that Mr. Lilly is the victim of a patent 
and enormous misunderstanding, and that I have 
not the slightest intention of putting that con 
viction aside because I cannot " verify " it either 
by touch, or taste, or smell, or hearing, or sight, 
which (in the absence of any trace of telepathic 
faculty) make up the totality of my senses. 

Again, I may venture to admire the clear and 



vigorous English in which Mr. Lilly embodies his 
views ; but the source of that admiration does not 
lie in anything which my five senses enable me to 
discover in the pages of his article, and of which 
an orang-outang might be just as acutely sensible. 
No, it lies in an appreciation of literary form and 
logical structure by aesthetic and intellectual 
faculties which are not senses, and which are not 
unfrequently sadly wanting where the senses are 
in full vigour. My poor relation may beat me in 
the matter of sensation ; but I am quite confident 
that, when style and syllogisms are to be dealt 
with, he is nowhere. 

If there is anything in the world which I do 
firmly believe in, it is the universal validity of the 
law of causation ; but that universality cannot be 
proved by any amount of experience, let alone 
that which comes to us through the senses. And 
when an effort of volition changes the current of 
my thoughts, or when an idea calls up another 
associated idea, I have not the slightest doubt 
that the process to which the first of the phe 
nomena, in each case, is due stands in the relation 
of cause to the second. Yet the attempt to verify 
this belief by sensation would be sheer lunacy. 
Now I am quite sure that Mr. Lilly does not 
doubt my sanity ; and the only alternative seems 
to be the admission that his first proposition is 

The second thesis charges me with putting 



aside " as unverifiable " " everything beyond the 
bounds of physical science." Again I say, No. 
Nobody, I imagine, will credit me with a desire 
to limit the empire of physical science, but I really 
feel bound to confess that a great many very 
familiar and, at the same time, extremely impor 
tant phenomena lie quite beyond its legitimate 
limits. I cannot conceive, for example, how the 
phenomena of consciousness, as such and apart 
from the physical process by which they are 
called into existence, are to be brought within 
the bounds of physical science. Take the simplest 
possible example, the feeling of redness. Physical 
science tells us that it commonly arises as a con 
sequence of molecular changes propagated from 
the eye to a certain part of the substance of the 
brain, when vibrations of the luminiferous ether 
of a certain character fall upon the retina. Let 
us suppose the process of physical analysis pushed 
so far that one could view the last link of this 
chain of molecules, watch their movements as if 
they were billiard balls, weigh them, measure 
them, and know all that is physically knowable 
about them. Well, even in that case, we should 
be just as far from being able to include the 
resulting phenomenon of consciousness, the feeling 
of redness, within the bounds of physical science, 
as we are at present. It would remain as unlike 
the phenomena we know under the names of 
matter and motion as it is now. If there is any 


plain truth upon which I have made it my 
business to insist over and over again it is this 
and whether it is a truth or not, my insistence 
upon it leaves not a shadow of justification for 
Mr. Lilly s assertion. 

But I ask in this case also, how is it conceivable 
that any man, in possession of all his natural 
faculties, should hold such an opinion ? I do not 
suppose that I am exceptionally endowed because 
I have all my life enjoyed a keen perception of 
the beauty offered us by nature and by art. Now 
physical science may and probably will, some day, 
enable our posterity to set forth the exact physical 
concomitants and conditions of the strange rapture 
of beauty. But if ever that day arrives, the 
rapture will remain, just as it is now, outside and 
beyond the physical world ; and, even in the 
mental world, something superadded to mere sen 
sation. I do not wish to crow unduly over my 
humble cousin the orang, but in the aesthetic 
province, as in that of the intellect, I am afraid 
he is nowhere. I doubt not he would detect a 
fruit amidst a wilderness of leaves where I could 
see nothing ; but I am tolerably confident that he 
has never been awestruck, as I have been, by the 
dim religious gloom, as of a temple devoted to the 
earthgods, of the tropical forests which he in 
habits. Yet I doubt not that our poor long- 
armed and short-legged friend, as he sits medita 
tively munching his durian fruit, has something 


behind that sad Socratic face of his which is 
utterly " beyond the bounds of physical science." 
Physical science may know all about his clutching 
the fruit and munching it and digesting it, and 
how the physical titillation of his palate is trans 
mitted to some microscopic cells of the gray 
matter of his brain. But the feelings of sweet 
ness and of satisfaction which, for a moment, hang 
out their signal lights in his melancholy eyes, are 
as utterly outside the bounds of physics as is the 
" fine frenzy " of a human rhapsodist. 

Does Mr. Lilly really believe that, putting me 
aside, there is any man with the feeling of music 
in him who disbelieves in the reality of the delight 
which he derives from it, because that delight 
lies outside the bounds of physical science, not 
less than outside the region of the mere sense of 
hearing ? But, it may be, that he includes music, 
painting, and sculpture under the head of physical 
science, and in that case I can only regret I am 
unable to follow him in his ennoblement of my 
favourite pursuits. 

The third thesis runs that I put aside " as un- 
verifiablc " " everything which cannot be brought 
into a laboratory and dealt with chemically " ; 
and, once more, I say No. This wondrous 
allegation is no novelty ; it has not unfrequently 
reached me from that region where gentle (or 
ungentle) dulness so often holds unchecked 
sway the pulpit. But I marvel to find that a 


writer of Mr. Lilly s intelligence and good faith 
is willing to father such a wastrel. If I am to deal 
with the thing seriously, I find myself met by 
one of the two horns of a dilemma. Either some 
meaning, as unknown to usage as to the diction 
aries, attaches to " laboratory " and " chemical," 
or the proposition is (what am I to say in my sore 
need for a gentle and yet appropriate word ?) 
well unhistorical. 

Does Mr. Lilly suppose that I put aside " as 
unverifiable " all the truths of mathematics, of 
philology, of history ? And if I do not, will he 
have the great goodness to say how the binomial 
theorem is to be dealt with "chemically," even 
in the best-appointed " laboratory " ; or where 
the balances and crucibles are kept by which the 
various theories of the nature of the Basque 
language may be tested ; or what reagents 
will extract the truth from any given History 
of Rome, and leave the errors behind as a 
residual calx ? 

I really cannot answer these questions, and 
unless Mr. Lilly can, I think he would do well 
hereafter to think more than twice before 
attributing such preposterous notions to his 
fellow-men, who, after all, as a learned counsel 
said, are vertebrated animals. 

The whole thing perplexes me much ; and 
I am sure there must be an explanation which 
will leave Mr. Lilly s reputation for common sense 


and fair dealing untouched. Can it be I put 
this forward quite tentatively that Mr. Lilly is 
the victim of a confusion, common enough among 
thoughtless people, and into which he has fallen 
unawares ? Obviously, it is one thing to say 
that the logical methods of physical science are of 
universal applicability, and quite another to affirm 
that all subjects of thought lie within the pro 
vince of physical science. I have often declared 
my conviction that there is only one method by 
which intellectual truth can be reached, whether 
the subject-matter of investigation belongs to the 
world of physics or to the world of consciousness ; 
and one of the arguments in favour of the use of 
physical science as an instrument of education 
which I have oftenest used is that, in my opinion, 
it exercises young minds in the appreciation of 
inductive evidence better than any other study. 
But while I repeat my conviction that the physical 
sciences probably furnish the best and most easily 
appreciable illustrations of the one and indivisible 
mode of ascertaining truth by the use of reason, 
I beg leave to add that I have never thought of 
suggesting that other branches of knowledge may 
not afford the same discipline ; and assuredly I 
have never given the slightest ground for the 
attribution to me of the ridiculous contention 
that there is nothing true outside the bounds of 
physical science. Doubtless people who wanted 
to say something damaging, without too nice a 


regard to its truth or falsehood, have often 
enough misrepresented my plain meaning. But 
Mr. Lilly is not one of these folks at whom one 
looks and passes by, and I can but sorrowfully 
wonder at finding him in such company. 

So much for the three theses which Mr. Lilly 
has nailed on to the page of this Review. I think 
I have shown that the first is inaccurate, that the 
second is inaccurate, and that the third is in 
accurate ; and that these three inaccurates con 
stitute one prodigious, though I doubt not unin 
tentional, misrepresentation. If Mr. Lilly and I 
were dialectic gladiators, fighting in the arena of 
the " Fortnightly," under the eye of an editorial 
lanista, for the delectation of the public, my best 
tactics would now be to leave the field of battle. 
For the question whether I do, or do not, hold 
certain opinions is a matter of fact, with regard to 
which my evidence is likely to be regarded as 
conclusive at least until such time as the tele 
pathy of the unconscious is more generally recog 

However, some other assertions are made by 
Mr. Lilly which more or less involve matters of 
opinion whereof the rights and wrongs are less 
easily settled, but in respect of which he seems to 
me to err quite as seriously as about the topics 
we have been hitherto discussing. And the im 
portance of these subjects leads me to venture upon 
saying something about them, even though I am 


thereby compelled to leave the safe ground of 
personal knowledge. 

Before launching the three torpedoes which 
have so sadly exploded on board his own ship, 
Mr. Lilly says that with whatever " rhetorical 
ornaments I may gild my teaching," it is 
" Materialism." Let me observe, in passing, that 
rhetorical ornament is not in my way, and that 
gilding refined gold would, to my mind, be less 
objectionable than varnishing the fair face of 
truth with that pestilent cosmetic, rhetopic. If I 
believed that I had any claim to the title of 
" Materialist," as that term is understood in the 
language of philosophy and not in that of abuse, I 
should not attempt to hide it by any sort of gild 
ing. I have not found reason to care much for 
hard names in the course of the last thirty years, 
and I am too old to develop a new sensitiveness. 
But, to repeat what I have more than once taken 
pains to say in the most unadorned of plain 
language, I repudiate, as philosophical error, the 
doctrine of Materialism as I understand it, just as 
I repudiate the doctrine of Spiritualism as Mr. 
Lilly presents it, and my reason for thus doing is, 
in both cases, the same ; namely, that, whatever 
their differences, Materialists and Spiritualists 
agree in making very positive assertions about 
matters of which I am certain I know nothing, 
and about which I believe they are, in truth, just 
as ignorant. And further, that, even when their 



assertions are confined to topics which lie within 
the range of my faculties, they often appear to 
me to be in the wrong. And there is yet another 
reason for objecting to be identified with either of 
these sects ; and that is that each is extremely 
fond of attributing to the other, by way of re 
proach, conclusions which are the property of 
neither, though they infallibly flow from the 
logical development of the first principles of both. 
Surely a prudent man is not to be reproached 
because he keeps clear of the squabbles of these 
philosophical Bianchi and Neri, by refusing to 
have anything to do with either ? 

I understand the main tenet of Materialism to 
be that there is nothing in the universe but 
matter and force ; and that all the phenomena of 
nature are explicable by deduction from the pro 
perties assignable to these two primitive factors. 
That great champion of Materialism whom Mr. 
Lilly appears to consider to be an authority in 
physical science, Dr. Blichner, embodies this 
article of faith on his title-page. Kraft und Stoff 
force and matter are paraded as the Alpha and 
Omega of existence. This I apprehend is the 
fundamental article of the faith materialistic; 
and whosoever does not hold it is condemned by 
the more zealous of the persuasion (as I have 
some reason to know) to the Inferno appointed 
for fools or hypocrites. But all this I heartily 
disbelieve ; and at the risk of being charged with 



wearisome repetition of an old story, I will briefly 
give my reasons for persisting in my infidelity. 
In the first place, as I have already hinted, it 
seems to me pretty plain that there is a third 
thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which, 
in the hardness of my heart or head, I cannot see 
to be matter, or force, or any conceivable modifica 
tion of either, however intimately the manifesta 
tions of the phenomena of consciousness may be 
connected with the phenomena known as matter 
and force. In the second place, the arguments 
used by Descartes and Berkeley to show that our 
certain knowledge does not extend beyond our 
states of consciousness, appear to me to be 
as irrefragable now as they did when I first 
became acquainted with them some half-century 
ago. All the materialistic writers I know of who 
have tried to bite that file have simply broken 
their teeth. But, if this is true, our one certainty 
is the existence of the mental world, and that of 
Kraft und Stoff falls into the rank of, at best, a 
highly probable hypothesis. 

Thirdly, when I was a mere boy, with a per 
verse tendency to think when I ought to have 
been playing, my mind was greatly exercised by 
this formidable problem, What would become of 
things if they lost their qualities ? As the qualities 
had no objective existence, and the thing without 
qualities was nothing, the solid world seemed 
whittled away to my great horror. As I grew 



older, and learned to use the terms matter and 
force, the boyish problem was revived, mutato 
nomine. On the one hand, the notion of matter 
without force seemed to resolve the world into a 
set of geometrical ghosts, too dead even to jabber. 
On the other hand, Boscovich s hypothesis, by 
which matter was resolved into centres of force, 
was very attractive. But when one tried to think 
it out, what in the world became of force con 
sidered as an objective entity ? Force, even the 
most materialistic of philosophers will agree with 
the most idealistic, is nothing but a name for the 
cause of motion. And if, with Boscovich, I 
resolved things into centres of force, then matter 
vanished altogether and left immaterial entities 
in its place. One might as well frankly accept 
Idealism and have done with it. 

I must make a confession, even if it be humili 
ating. I have never been able to form the 
slightest conception of those " forces " which the 
Materialists talk about, as if they had samples of 
them many years in bottle. They tell me that 
matter consists of atoms, which are separated by 
mere space devoid of contents ; and that, through 
this void, radiate the attractive and repulsive 
forces whereby the atoms affect one another. If 
anybody can clearly conceive the nature of these 
things which not only exist in nothingness, but 
pull and push there with great vigour, I envy 
him for the possession of an intellect of larger 
grasp, not only than mine, but than that of 

K 2 


Leibnitz or of Newton. 1 To me the " chimaera, 
bombinans in vacuo quia comedit secundas inten- 
tiones" of the schoolmen is a familiar and 
domestic creature compared with such " forces." 
Besides, by the hypothesis, the forces are not 
matter ; and thus all that is of any particular con 
sequence in the world turns out to be not matter 
on the Materialist s own showing. Let it not be 
supposed that I am casting a doubt upon the 
propriety of the employment of the terms " atom " 
and " force," as they stand among the working 
hypotheses of physical science. As formulae which 
can be applied, with perfect precision and great con 
venience, in the interpretation of nature, their value 
is incalculable ; but, as real entities, having an ob 
jective existence, an indivisible particle which never 
theless occupies space is surely inconceivable ; and 
with respect to the operation of that atom, where 
it is not, by the aid of a " force " resident in 
nothingness, I am as little able to imagine it as I 
fancy any one else is. 

Unless and until anybody will resolve all these 
doubts and difficulties for me, I think I have a 
right to hold aloof from Materialism. As to 
Spiritualism, it lands me in even greater difficul- 

1 See the famous Collection of Papers, published by Clarke in 
1717. Leibnitz says : " Tis also a supernatural thing that 
bodies should attract one another at a distance without any 
intermediate means." And Clarke, on behalf of Xewton, caps 
this as follows : " That one body should attract another without 
any intermediate means is, indeed, not a miracle, but a contra 
diction ; for tis supposing something to act where it is not." 



ties when I want to get change for its notes-of- 
hand in the solid coin of reality. For the assumed 
substantial entity, spirit, which is supposed to 
underlie the phenomena of consciousness, as matter 
underlies those of physical nature, leaves not even 
a geometrical ghost when these phenomena are 
abstracted. And, even if we suppose the existence 
of such an entity apart from qualities that is to 
say, a bare existence for mind, how does any 
body know that it differs from that other entity, 
apart from qualities, which is the supposed sub 
stratum of matter ? Spiritualism is, after all, little 
better than Materialism turned upside down. And 
if I try to think of the " spirit " which a man, by 
this hypothesis, carries about under his hat, as 
something devoid of relation to space, and as 
something indivisible, even in thought, while it is, 
at the same time, supposed to be in that place and 
to be possessed of half a dozen different faculties, I 
confess I get quite lost. 

As I have said elsewhere, if I were forced to 
choose between Materialism and Idealism, I should 
elect for the latter ; and I certainly would have 
nothing to do with the effete mythology of 
Spiritualism. But I am not aware that I am 
under any compulsion to choose either the one or 
the other. I have always entertained a strong 
suspicion that the sage who maintained that man 
is the measure of the universe was sadly in the 
wrong ; and age and experience have not weakened 


that conviction. In following these lines of specu 
lation I am reminded of the quarter-deck walks of 
my youth. In taking that form of exercise you 
may perambulate through all points of the com 
pass with perfect safety, so long as you keep within 
certain limits : forget those limits, in your ardour, 
and mere smothering and spluttering, if not worse, 
await you. I stick by the deck and throw a life 
buoy now and then to the struggling folk who 
have gone overboard ; and all I get for my 
humanity is the abuse of all whenever they leave 
off abusing one another. 

Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of 
the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, 
is for a man to presume to go about unlabelled. 
The world regards such a person as the police do 
an unmuzzled dog, not under proper control. I 
could find no label that would suit me, so, in my 
desire to range myself and be respectable, I in 
vented one ; and, as the chief thing I was sure of 
was that I did not know a great many things that 
the ists and the ites about me professed to be 
familiar with, I called myself an Agnostic. Surely 
no denomination could be more modest or more 
appropriate ; and I cannot imagine why I should 
be every now and then haled out of my refuge 
and declared sometimes to be a Materialist, some 
times an Atheist, sometimes a Positivist ; and 
sometimes, alas and alack, a cowardly or reaction 
ary Obscurantist. 


I trust that I have, at last, made my case clear, 
and that henceforth I shall be allowed to rest in 
peace at least, after a further explanation or two, 
which Mr. Lilly proves to me may be necessary. 
It has been seen that my excellent critic has 
original ideas respecting the meaning of the 
words " laboratory " and " chemical " ; and, as it 
appears to me, his definition of " Materialist " is 
quite as much peculiar to himself. For, unless I 
misunderstand him, and I have taken pains not to 
do so, he puts me down as a Materialist (over and 
above the grounds which I have shown to have 
no foundation); firstly, because I have said that 
consciousness is a function of the brain ; and, 
secondly, because I hold by determinism. With 
respect to the first point, I am not aware that 
there is any one who doubts that, in the proper 
physiological sense of the word function, con 
sciousness, in certain forms at any rate, is a 
cerebral function. In physiology we call function 
that effect, or series of effects, which results from 
the activity of an organ. Thus, it is the function 
of muscle to give rise to motion ; and the muscle 
gives rise to motion when the nerve which 
supplies it is stimulated. If one of the nerve- 
bundles in a man s arm is laid bare and a stimulus 
is applied to certain of the nervous filaments, the 
result will be production of motion in that arm. 
If others are stimulated, the result will be the 
production of the state of consciousness called 



pain. Now, if I trace these last nerve-filaments, 
I find them to be ultimately connected with part 
of the substance of the brain, just as the others 
turn out to be connected with muscular sub 
stance. If the production of motion in the one 
case is properly said to be the function of the 
muscular substance, why is the production of a 
state of consciousness in the other case not to be 
called a function of the cerebral substance ? Once 
upon a time, it is true, it was supposed that a 
certain " animal spirit " resided in muscle and was 
the real active agent. But we have done with 
that wholly superfluous fiction so far as the 
muscular organs are concerned. Why are we to 
retain a corresponding fiction for the nervous 
organs ? 

If it is replied that no physiologist, however 
spiritual his leanings, dreams of supposing that 
simple sensations require a " spirit " for their 
production, then I must point out that we are 
all agreed that consciousness is a function of 
matter, and that particular tenet must be given 
up as a mark of Materialism. Any further argu 
ment will turn upon the question, not whether 
consciousness is a function of the brain, but 
whether all forms of consciousness are so. Again, 
I hold it would be quite correct to say that 
material changes are the causes of psychical 
phenomena (and, as a consequence, that the 
organs in which these changes take place have 


the production of such phenomena for their 
function), even if the spiritualistic hypothesis had 
any foundation. For nobody hesitates to say that 
an event A is the cause of an event Z, even if 
there are as many intermediate terms, known and 
unknown, in the chain of causation as there are 
letters between A and Z. The man who pulls 
the trigger of a loaded pistol placed close to 
another s head certainly is the cause of that 
other s death, though, in strictness, he " causes " 
nothing but the movement of the finger upon the 
trigger. And, in like manner, the molecular 
change which is brought about in a certain 
portion of the cerebral substance by the stimula 
tion of a remote part of the body would be 
properly said to be the cause of the consequent 
feeling, whatever unknown terms were interposed 
between the physical agent and the actual psychi 
cal product. Therefore, unless Materialism has 
the monopoly of the right use of language, I see 
nothing materialistic in the phraseology which I 
have employed. 

The only remaining justification which Mr. Lilly 
offers for dubbing me a Materialist, malgrt moi, 
arises out of a passage which he quotes, in which I 
say that the progress of science means the exten 
sion of the province of what we call matter MI id 
force, and the concomitant gradual banishment 
from all regions of human thought of what we call 
spirit and spontaneity. I hold that opinion now, 


if anything, more firmly than I did when I gave 
utterance to it a score of years ago, for it has 
been justified by subsequent events. But what 
that opinion has to do with Materialism I fail to 
discover. In my judgment, it is consistent with 
the most thorough-going Idealism, and the 
grounds of that judgment are really very plain 
and simple. 

The growth of science, not merely of physical 
science, but of ah 1 science, means the demonstration 
of order and natural causation among phenomena 
which had not previously been brought under those 
conceptions. Nobody who is acquainted with the 
progress of scientific thinking in every department 
of human knowledge, in the course of the last two 
centuries, will be disposed to deny that immense 
provinces have been added to the realm of science ; 
or to doubt that the next two centuries will be 
witnesses of a vastly greater annexation. More 
particularly in the region of the physiology of the 
nervous system is it justifiable to conclude from 
the progress that has been made in analysing the 
relations between material and psychical pheno 
mena, that vast further advances will be made ; 
and that, sooner or later, all the so-called spon 
taneous operations of the mind will have, not only 
their relations to one another, but their relations 
to physical phenomena, connected in natural series 
of causes and effects, strictly defined. In other 
words, while, at present, we know only the nearer 



moiety of the chain of causes and effects, by which 
the phenomena we call material give rise to those 
which we call mental ; hereafter, we shall get to 
the further end of the series. 

In my innocence, I have been in the habit of 
supposing that this is merely a statement of facts, 
and that the good Bishop Berkeley, if he were 
alive, would find such facts fit into his system 
without the least difficulty. That Mr. Lilly 
should play into the hands of his foes, by declaring 
that unmistakable facts make for them, is an 
exemplification of ways that are dark, quite un 
intelligible to me. Surely Mr. Lilly does not hold 
that the disbelief in spontaneity which term, if 
it has any meaning at all, means uncaused action 
is a mark of the beast Materialism ? If so, he 
must be prepared to tackle many of the Cartesians 
(if not Descartes himself), Spinoza and Leibnitz 
among the philosophers, Augustine, Thomas 
Aquinas, Calvin and his followers among theolo 
gians, as Materialists and that surely is a suffi 
cient rcd iictin erf absurdttm of such a classification. 

The truth is, that in his zeal to paint " Material 
ism," in large letters, on everything he dislikes, 
Mr. Lilly forgets a very important fact, which, 
however, must be patent to every one who has 
paid attention to the history of human thought ; 
and that fact is, that every one of the specu 
lative difficulties which beset Kant s three prob 
lems, the existence of a Deity, the freedom of the 



will, and immortality, existed ages before any 
thing that can be called physical science, and 
would continue to exist if modern physical science 
were swept away. All that physical science has 
done has been to make, as it were, visible and 
tangible some difficulties that formerly were more 
hard of apprehension. Moreover, these difficulties 
exist just as much on the hypothesis of Idealism 
as on that of Materialism. 

The student of nature, who starts from the 
axiom of the universality of the law of causation, 
cannot refuse to admit an eternal existence ; if he 
admits the conservation of energy, he cannot 
deny the possibility of an eternal energy; if he 
admits the existence of immaterial phenomena 
in the form of consciousness, he must admit the 
possibility, at any rate, of an eternal series of 
such phenomena ; and, if his studies have not been 
barren of the best fruit of the investigation of 
nature, he will have enough sense to see that 
when Spinoza says, " Per Deum intelligo ens 
absolute infmitum, hoc est substantiam constantem 
infinitis attributis," the God so conceived is one 
that only a very great fool would deny, even in 
his heart. Physical science is as little Atheistic 
as it is Materialistic. 

So with respect to immortality. As physical 
science states this problem, it seems to stand thus : 
" Is there any means of knowing whether the 
series of states of consciousness, which has been 


casually associated for threescore years and ten 
with the arrangement and movements of in 
numerable millions of successively different mate 
rial molecules, can be continued, in like associ 
ation, with some substance which has not the 
properties of matter and force ? " As Kant said, 
on a like occasion, if anybody can answer that 
question, he is just the man I want to see. If he 
says that consciousness cannot exist, except in 
relation of cause and effect with certain organic 
molecules, I must ask how he knows that ; and if 
he says it can, I must put the same question. 
And I am afraid that, like jesting Pilate, I shall 
not think it worth while (having but little time 
before me) to wait for an answer. 

Lastly, with respect to the old riddle of the 
freedom of the will. In the only sense in which 
the word freedom is intelligible to me that is to 
say, the absence of any restraint upon doing what 
one likes within certain limits physical science 
certainly gives no more ground for doubting it 
than the common sense of mankind does. And if 
physical science, in strengthening our belief in the 
universality of causation and abolishing chance as 
an absurdity, leads to the conclusions of deter 
minism, it does no more than follow the track of 
consistent and logical thinkers in philosophy and 
in theology, before it existed or was thought of. 
Whoever accepts the universality of the law of 
causation as a dogma of philosophy, denies the 



existence of uncaused phenomena. And the 
essence of that which is improperly called the 
freewill doctrine is that occasionally, at any rate, 
human volition is self-caused, that is to say, not 
caused at all ; for to cause oneself one must have 
anteceded oneself which is, to say the least of it, 
difficult to imagine. 

Whoever accepts the existence of an omniscient 
Deity as a dogma of theology, affirms that the 
order of things is fixed from eternity to eternity ; 
for the fore-knowledge of an occurrence means 
that the occurrence will certainly happen; and 
the certainty of an event happening is what, is 
meant by its being fixed or fated. 1 

1 I may cite, in support of this obvious conclusion of sound 
reasoning, two authorities who will certainly not be regarded 
lightly by Mr. Lilly. These are Augustine and Thomas 
Aquinas. The former declares that "Fate" is only an ill- 
chosen name for Providence. 

"Prorsus divina providentia regna constituuntur humana. 
Quse si propterea quisquam lato tribuit, quia ipsam Dei volun- 
tatem vel potestatem fati nomine appellat, sentcntiam tcncat, 
li /u/uam corrigat" (Augustinus DC Civitatc Dei, Y. c. i.) 

The other great doctor of the Catholic Church, " Divus 
Thomas," as Suarez calls him, whose marvellous grasp and 
subtlety of intellect seem to me to be almost without a parallel, 
puts the whole case into a nutshell, when he says that the 
ground for doing a thing in the mind of the doer is as it were 
the pre-existence of the thing done : 

"Ratio autem alicujus fiendi in mente actoris existens est 
qusedam prse-existentia rei fiends in eo" (Summa, Qu. xxiii. 
Art. i.) 

If this is not enough, I may further ask what " Materialist " 
has ever given a better statement of the case for determinism, 
on theistic grounds, than is to be found in the following passage 
of the Summa, Qu. xiv. Art. xiii. 

" Omnia qua; sunt in tempore, sunt Deo ab seterno praesentia, 
non solum ea ex ratione qua habet rationes rerum apud se 


Whoever asserts the existence of an omnipotent 
Deity, that he made and sustains all things, and 
is the causa causarum, cannot, without a contra 
diction in terms, assert that there is any cause 
independent of him; and it is a mere subterfuge 
to assert that the cause of all things can " permit " 
one of these things to be an independent cause. 

Whoever asserts the combination of omniscience 
and omnipotence as attributes of the Deity, does 
implicitly assert predestination. For he who 
knowingly makes a thing and places it in circum 
stances the operation of which on that thing he 
is perfectly acquainted with, does predestine that 
thing to whatever fate may befall it. 

Thus, to come, at last, to the really important 
part of all this discussion, if the belief in a God 
is essential to morality, physical science offers no 
obstacle thereto : if the belief in immortality is 
essential to morality, physical science has no more 
to say against the probability of that doctrine than 
the most ordinary experience has, and it effectually 
closes the mouths of those who pretend to refute 
it by objections deduced from merely physical 

presentes, ut quidara dicunt, sed quia ejus intuitiis fertur ab 
seterno supra omnia, prout sunt in sua pnesentialitate. Unde 
manifestum est quod contingentia infallibilitcr a Deo cognos- 
cuntur, in quantum subdimtur divino conspectui secundum 
suaiu priesentialitatem ; et tamen sunt futura contingentia, suis 
causis proximis comparata. " 

[As I have not said that Thomas Aquinas is professedly a 
determinist, I do not see the bearing of citations from him which 
may be more or less inconsistent with the foregoing.] 


data. Finally, if the belief in the uncausedness 
of volition is essential to morality, the student of 
physical science has no more to say against that 
absurdity than the logical philosopher or theo 
logian. Physical science, I repeat, did not invent 
determinism, and the deterministic doctrine would 
stand on just as firm a foundation as it does if 
there were no physical science. Let any one who 
doubts this read Jonathan Edwards, whose de 
monstrations are derived wholly from philosophy 
and theology. 

Thus, when Mr. Lilly, like another Solomon 
Eagle, goes about proclaiming " Woe to this wicked 
city," and denouncing physical science as the evil 
genius of modern days mother of materialism, 
arid fatalism, and all sorts of other condemnable 
isms I venture to beg him to lay the blame on 
the right shoulders ; or, at least, to put in the 
dock, along with Science, those sinful sisters of 
hers, Philosophy and Theology, who, being so 
much older, should have known better than the 
poor Cinderella of the schools and universities 
over which they have so long dominated. No 
doubt modern society is diseased enough ; but 
then it does not differ from older civilisations in 
that respect. Societies of men are fermenting 
masses, and, as beer has what the Germans call 
" Oberhefe " and " Unterhefe," so every society that 
has existed has had its scum at the top and its 
dregs at the bottom ; but I doubt if any of the 



" ages of faith " had less scum or less dregs, or even 
showed a proportionally greater quantity of sound 
wholesome stuff in the vat. I think it would 
puzzle Mr. Lilly, or any one else, to adduce con 
vincing evidence that, at any period of the world s 
history, there was a more widespread sense of 
social duty, or a greater sense of justice, or of the 
obligation of mutual help, than in this England of 
ours. Ah ! but, says Mr. Lilly, these are all pro 
ducts of our Christian inheritance ; when Christian 
dogmas vanish virtue will disappear too, and the 
ancestral ape and tiger will have full play. But 
there are a good many people who think it obvious 
that Christianity also inherited a good deal from 
Paganism and from Judaism ; and that, if the 
Stoics and the Jews revoked their bequest, the 
moral property of Christianity would realise very 
little. And, if morality has survived the stripping 
off of several sets of clothes which have been 
found to fit badly, why should it not be able to 
get on very well in the light and handy garments 
which Science is ready to provide ? 

But this by the way. If the diseases of society 
consist in the weakness of its faith in the existence 
of the God of the theologians, in a future state, 
and in uncaused volitions, the indication, as the 
doctors say, is to suppress Theology and Philo 
sophy, whose bickerings about things of which 
they know nothing have been the prime cause 
and continual sustenance of that evil scepticism 



which is the Nemesis of meddling with the un 

Cinderella is modestly conscious of her ignor 
ance of these high matters. She lights the fire, 
sweeps the house, and provides the dinner; and 
is rewarded by being told that she is a base 
creature, devoted to low and material interests. 
But in her garret she has fairy visions out of the 
ken of the pair of shrews who are quarrelling 
down stairs. She sees the order which pervades 
the seeming disorder of the world ; the great 
drama of evolution, with its full share of pity 
and terror, but also with abundant goodness and 
beauty, unrolls itself before her eyes ; and she 
learns, in her heart of hearts, the lesson, that the 
foundation of morality is to have done, once and 
for all, with lying ; to give up pretending to 
believe that for which there is no evidence, and 
repeating unintelligible propositions about things 
beyond the possibilities of knowledge. 

She knows that the safety of morality lies 
neither in the adoption of this or that philo 
sophical speculation, or this or that theological 
creed, but in a real and living belief in that fixed 
order of nature which sends social disorganisation 
upon the track of immorality, as surely as it 
sends physical disease after physical trespasses. 
And of that firm and lively faith it is her high 
mission to be the priestess. 




THE first act of a new-born child is to draw a 
deep breath. In fact, it will never draw a deeper, 
inasmuch as the passages and chambers of the 
lungs, once distended with air, do not empty 
themselves again ; it is only a fraction of their 
contents which passes in and out with the flow 
and the ebb of the respiratory tide. Mechanically, 
this act of drawing breath, or inspiration, is of 
the same nature as that by which the handles of 
a bellows are separated, in order to fill the bellows 
with air; and, in like manner, it involves that 
expenditure of energy which we call exertion, or 
work, or labour. It is, therefore, no mere metaphor 
to say that man is destined to a life of toil : the 
work of respiration which began with his first 
breath ends only with his last ; nor does one born 

L 2 


in the purple get off with a lighter task than the 
child who first sees light under a hedge. 

How is it that the new-born infant is enabled 
to perform this first instalment of the sentence 
of life-long labour which no man may escape ? 
Whatever else a child may be, in respect of this 
particular question, it is a complicated piece of 
mechanism, built up out of materials supplied by 
its mother; and in the course of such building- 
up, provided with a set of motors the muscles. 
Each of these muscles contains a stock of sub 
stance capable of yielding energy under certain 
conditions, one of which is a change of state in 
the nerve fibres connected with it. The powder 
in a loaded gun is such another stock of substance 
capable of yielding energy in consequence of a 
change of state in the mechanism of the lock, 
which intervenes between the finger of the m;m 
who pulls the trigger and the cartridge. If that 
change is brought about, the potential energy of 
the powder passes suddenly into actual energy, 
and does the work of propelling the bullet. The 
powder, therefore, may be appropriately called 
work-stuff, not only because it is stuff which is 
easily made to yield work in the physical sense, 
but because a good deal of work in the economical 
sense has contributed to its production. Labour 
was necessary to collect, transport, and purify the 
raw sulphur and saltpetre ; to cut wood and con 
vert it into powdered charcoal ; to mix these in- 


gredients in the right proportions; to give the 
mixture the proper grain, and so on. The powder 
once formed part of the stock, or capital, of a 
powder-maker : and it is not only certain natural 
bodies which are collected and stored in the gun 
powder, but the labour bestowed on the operations 
mentioned may be figuratively said to be incor 
porated in it. 

In principle, the work-stuff stored in the 
muscles of the new-born child is comparable to 
that stored in the gun-barrel. The infant is 
launched into altogether new surroundings ; and 
these operate through the mechanism of the 
nervous machinery, with the result that the 
potential energy of some of the work-stuff in the 
muscles which bring about inspiration is suddenly 
converted into actual energy ; and this, operating 
through the mechanism of the respiratory ap 
paratus, gives rise to an act of inspiration. As 
the bullet is propelled by the "going off" of 
the powder, as it might be said that the ribs are 
raised and the midriff depressed by the " going off" 
of certain portions of muscular work -stuff. This 
work-stuff is part of a stock or capital of that 
commodity stored up in the child s organism 
before birth, at the expense of the mother ; and 
the mother has made good her expenditure by 
drawing upon the capital of food-stuffs which 
furnished her daily maintenance. 

Under these circumstances, it does not appear 


to me to be open to doubt that the primary act of 
outward labour in the series which necessarily 
accompany the life of man is dependent upon the 
pre-existence of a stock of material which is not 
only of use to him, but which is disposed in such 
a manner as to be utilisable with facility. And 
I further imagine that the propriety of the 
application of the term capital to this stock of 
useful substance cannot be justly called in 
question; inasmuch as it is easy to prove that 
the essential constituents of the work-stuff 
accumulated in the child s muscles have meivlv 
been transferred from the store of food-stuffs, 
which everybody admits to be capital, 1>\ means 
of the maternal organism to that of the child, in 
which they are again deposited to await use. 
Every subsequent act of labour, in like manner, 
involves an equivalent consumption of the child s 
store of work-stuff its vital capital ; and one of 
the main objects of the process of breathing is to 
get rid of some of the effects of that consumption. 
It follows, then, that, even if no other than the 
respiratory work were going on in the organism, 
the capital of work-stuff, which the child brought 
with it into the world, must sooner or later be used 
up, and the movements of breathing must come 
to an end ; just as the see-saw of the piston of a 
steam-engine stops when the coal in the fireplace 
has burnt away. 

Milk, however, is a stock of materials which 


essentially consists of savings from the food-stuffs 
supplied to the mother. And these savings are 
in such a physical and chemical condition that 
the organism of the child can easily convert them 
into work-stuff. That is to say, by borrowing 
directly from the vital capital of the mother, 
indirectly from the store in the natural bodies 
accessible to her, it can make good the loss of 
its own. The operation of borrowing, however, 
involves further work ; that is, the labour of 
sucking, which is a mechanical operation of much 
the same nature as breathing. The child thus 
pays for the capital it borrows in labour ; but as 
the value in work-stuff of the milk obtained is 
very far greater than the value of that labour, 
estimated by the consumption of work-stuff it 
involves, the operation yields a large profit to the 
infant. The overplus of food-stuff suffices to in 
crease the child s capital of work-stuff; and to 
supply not only the materials for the enlargement 
of the " buildings and machinery " which is ex 
pressed by the child s growth, but also the energy 
required to put all these materials together, and 
to carry them to their proper places. Thus, 
throughout the years of infancy, and so long 
thereafter as the youth or man is not thrown 
upon his own resources, he lives by consuming 
the vital capital provided by others. To use a 
terminology which is more common than appro 
priate, whatever work he performs (and he does 


a good deal, if only in mere locomotion) is un 

Let us now suppose the child come to man s 
estate in the condition of a wandering savage, 
dependent for his food upon what he can pick 
up or catch, after the fashion of the Australian 
aborigines. It is plain that the place of mother, 
as the supplier of vital capital, is now taken by 
the fruits, seeds, and roots of plants and by various 
kinds of animals. It is they alone which contain 
stocks of those substances which can be converted 
within the man s organism into work-stuff; and of 
the other matters, except air and water, required 
to supply the constant consumption of his capital 
and to keep his organic machinery going. In no 
way does the savage contribute to the production 
of these substances. Whatever labour he bestows 
upon such vegetable and animal bodies, on the 
contrary, is devoted to their destruction ; and it is 
a mere matter of accident whether a little labour 
yields him a great deal as in the case, for 
example, of a stranded whale ; or whether much 
labour yields next to nothing as in times of 
long-continued drought. The savage, like the 
child, borrows the capital he needs, and, at any 
rate, intentionally, does nothing towards repay 
ment ; it would plainly be an improper use of the 
word " produce " to say that his labour in hunting 
for the roots, or the fruits, or the eggs, or the 
grubs and snakes, which he finds and eats, " pro- 


duces " or contributes to " produce " them. The 
same thing is true of more advanced tribes, who 
are still merely hunters, such as the Esquimaux. 
They may expend more labour and skill ; but it is 
spent in destruction. 

When we pass from these to men who lead a 
purely pastoral life, like the South American 
Gauchos, or some Asiatic nomads, there is an 
important change. Let us suppose the owner of 
a flock of sheep to live on the milk, cheese, and 
flesh which they yield. It is obvious that the 
flock stands to him in the economic relation of 
the mother to the child, inasmuch as it supplies 
him with food-stuffs competent to make good the 
daily and hourly losses of his capital of work- 
stuff. If we imagine our sheep-owner to have 
access to extensive pastures and to be troubled 
neither by predacious animals nor by rival shep 
herds, the performance of his pastoral functions 
will hardly involve the expenditure of any more 
labour than is needful to provide him with the 
exercise required to maintain health. And this 
is true, even if we take into account the trouble 
originally devoted to the domestication of the 
sheep. It surely would be a most singular pre 
tension for the shepherd to talk of the flock as 
the " produce " of his labour in any but a very 
limited sense. In truth, his labour would have 
been a mere accessory of production of very little 
consequence. Under the circumstances supposed, 


a ram and some ewes, left to themselves for a few 
years, would probably generate as large a flock ; 
and the superadded labour of the shepherd would 
nave little more effect upon their production than 
upon that of the blackberries on the bushes about 
the pastures. For the most part the increment 
would be thoroughly unearned ; and, if it is a rule 
of absolute political ethics that owners have no 
claim upon " betterment " brought about inde 
pendently of their own labour, then the shepherd 
would have no claim to at least nine-tenths of 
the increase of the flock. 

But if the shepherd has no real claim to the 
title of " producer," who has ? Are the rams and 
ewes the true " producers " ? Certainly their title 
is better if, borrowing from the old terminology of 
chemistry, they only claim to be regarded as the 
" proximate principles " of production. And yet, 
if strict justice is to be dispensed, even they are 
to be regarded rather as collectors and distri 
butors than as " producers." For all that they 
really do is to collect, slightly modify, and render 
easily accessible, the vital capital which already 
exists in the green herbs on which they feed, but 
in such a form as to be practically out of the 
reach of man. 

Thus, from an economic point of view, the 
sheep are more comparable to confectioners than 
to producers. The usefulness of biscuit lies in 
the raw flour of which it is made ; but raw flour 


does not answer as an article of human diet, and 
biscuit does. So the usefulness of mutton lies 
mainly in certain chemical compounds which it 
contains : the sheep gets them out of grass ; we 
cannot live on grass, but we can on mutton. 

Now, herbaceous and all other green plants 
stand alone among terrestrial natural bodies, in so 
far as, under the influence of light, they possess 
the power to build up, out of the carbonic acid 
gas in the atmosphere, water and certain nitro 
genous and mineral salts, those substances which 
in the animal organism are utilised as work-stuff. 
They are the chief and, for practical purposes, the 
sole producers of that vital capital which we have 
seen to be the necessary antecedent of every act 
of labour. Every green plant is a laboratory in 
which, so long as the sun shines upon it, materials 
furnished by the mineral world, gases, water, 
saline compounds, are worked up into those food 
stuffs without which animal life cannot be carried 
on. And since, up to the present time, synthetic 
chemistry has not advanced so far as to achieve 
this feat, the green plant may be said to be the 
only living worker whose labour directly results 
in the production of that vital capital which is 
the necessary antecedent of human labour. 1 Nor 
is this statement a paradox involving perpetual 

1 It remains to be seen whether the plants which have no 
chlorophyll, and flourish in darkness, such as the Fungi, can 
live upon purely mineral food. 


motion, because the energy by which the plant 
does its work is supplied by the sun the prim 
ordial capitalist so far as we are concerned. But 
it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the 
mind that sunshine, air, water, the best soil that 
is to be found on the surface of the earth, might 
co-exist ; yet without plants, there is no known 
agency competent to generate the so-called 
" protein compounds," by which alone animal life 
can be permanently supported. And not only 
are plants thus essential ; but, in respect of par 
ticular kinds of animals, they must be plants of 
a particular nature. If there were no terrestrial 
green plants but, say, cypresses and mosses, 
pastoral and agricultural life would be alike 
impossible ; indeed, it is difficult to imagine the 
possibility of the existence of any large animal, as 
the labour required to get at a sufficiency of the 
store of food-stuffs, contained in such plants as 
these, could hardly extract from them an equi 
valent for the waste involved in that expenditure 
of work. 

We are compact of dust and air ; from that we 
set out, and to that complexion must we come 
at last. The plant either directly, or by some 
animal intermediary, lends us the capital which 
enables us to carry on the business of life, as we 
flit through the upper world, from the one term 
of our journey to the other. Popularly, no doubt, 
it is permissible to speak of the soil as a u pro- 


ducer," just as we may talk of the daily movement 
of the sun. But, as I have elsewhere remarked, 
propositions which are to bear any deductive 
strain that may be put upon them must run the 
risk of seeming pedantic, rather than that of being 
inaccurate. And the statement that land, in the 
sense of cultivable soil, is a producer, or even one 
of the essentials of economic production, is any 
thing but accurate. The process of water-culture, 
in which a plant is not " planted " in any soil, but 
is merely supported in water containing in solution 
the mineral ingredients essential to that plant, is 
now thoroughly understood ; and, if it were worth 
while, a crop yielding abundant food-stuffs could 
be raised on an acre of fresh water, no less than 
on an acre of dry land. In the Arctic regions, 
again, land has nothing to do with " production " 
in the social economy of the Esquimaux, who live 
on seals and other marine animals ; and might, 
like Proteus, shepherd the flocks of Poseidon if 
they had a mind for pastoral life. But the seals 
and the bears are dependent on other inhabitants 
of the sea, until, somewhere in the series, we come 
to the minute green plants which float in the 
ocean, and are the real " producers " by which the 
whole of its vast animal population is supported. 1 

1 In some remarkable passages of the Botany of Sir James 
Ross s Antarctic voyage, which took place half a century ago, 
Sir Joseph Hooker demonstrated the dependence of the animal 
life of the sea upon the minute, indeed microscopic, plants 
which float in it : a marvellous example of what may be done 


Thus, when we find set forth as an " absolute " 
truth the statement that the essential factors in 
economic production are land, capital and labour 
when this is offered as an axiom whence all 
sorts of other important truths may be deduced 
it is needful to remember that the assertion is 
true only with a qualification. Undoubtedly " vital 
capital " is essential ; for, as we have seen, no 
human work can be done unless it exists, not even 
that internal work of the body which is necessary 
to passive life. But, with respect to labour (that 
is, human labour) I hope to have left no doubt on 
the reader s mind that, in regard to production, the 
importance of human labour may be so small as to 
be almost a vanishing quantity. Moreover, it is 
certain that there is no approximation to a fixed 
ratio between the expenditure of labour and the 
production of that vital capital which is the 
foundation of all wealth. For, suppose that we 
introduce into our suppositions pastoral paradise 
beasts of prey and rival shepherds, the amount of 
labour thrown upon the sheep-owner may increase 
almost indefinitely, and its importance as a con 
dition of production may be enormously aug 
mented, while the quantity of produce remains 
stationary. Compare for a moment the unim- 

by water- culture. One might indulge in dreams of cultivating 
and improving diatoms, until the domesticated bore the same 
relation to the wild forms, as cauliflowers to the primitive 
Brassica, ol< r<im-(, without passing beyond the limits of fail- 
scientific speculation. 


portance of the shepherd s labour, under the cir 
cumstances first defined, with its indisponsability 
in countries in which the water for the sheep has 
to be drawn from deep wells, or in which the flock 
has to be defended from wolves or from human 
depredators. As to land, it has been shown 
that, except as affording mere room and standing 
ground, the importance of land, great as it may 
be, is secondary. The one thing needful for 
economic production is the green plant, as the 
sole producer of vital capital from natural inorganic 
bodies. Men might exist without labour (in the 
ordinary sense) and without land ; without plants 
they must inevitably perish. 

That which is true of the purely pastoral con 
dition is a fortiori true of the purely agricultural 1 
condition, in which the existence of the cultivator 
is directly dependent on the production of vital 
capital by the plants which he cultivates. Here, 
again, the condition precedent of the work of each 
year is vital capital. Suppose that a man lives 
exclusively upon the plants which he cultivates. 
It is obvious that he must have food-stuffs to live 
upon, while he prepares the soil for sowing and 
throughout the period which elapses between this 
and harvest. These food-stuffs must be yielded 
by the stock remaining over from former crops. 

1 It is a pity that we have no word that signifies plant-culture 
exclusively. But for the present purpose I may restrict 
agriculture to that sense. 


The result is the same as before the pre-existence 
of vital capital is the necessary antecedent of 
labour. Moreover, the amount of labour which 
contributes, as an accessory condition, to the pro 
duction of the crop varies as widely in the case of 
plant-raising as in that of cattle-raising. With 
favourable soil, climate and other conditions, it 
may be very small, with unfavourable, very great, 
for the same revenue or yield of food-stuffs. 

Thus, I do not think it is possible to dispute the 
following proposition : the existence of any man, 
or of any number of men, whether organised into a 
polity or not, depends on the production of food 
stuffs (that is, vital capital) readily accessible to 
man, either directly or indirectly, by plants. But 
it follows that the number of men who can exist, 
say for one year, on any given area of land, taken 
by itself, depends upon the quantity of food-stuffs 
produced by such plants growing on the area in 
one year. If a is that quantity, and b the minimum 

of food -stuffs required for each man, - = n, the 

maximum number of men who can exist on the 
area. Now the amount of production (a) is limited 
by the extent of area occupied ; by the quantity nf 
sunshine which falls upon the area; by the range 
and distribution of temperature ; by the force of 
the winds ; by the supply of water ; by the com 
position and the physical characters of the soil ; 
by animal and vegetable competitors and de- 


stroyers. The labour of man neither does, nor 
can, produce vital capital ; all that it can do is to 
modify, favourably or unfavourably, the conditions 
of its production. The most important of these 
namely, sunshine, range of daily and nightly 
temperature, wind are practically out of men s 
reach. l On the other hand, the supply of water, 
the physical and chemical qualities of the soil, 
and the influences of competitors and destroyers, 
can often, though by no means always, be largely 
affected by labour and skill. And there is no 
harm in calling the effect of such labour " pro 
duction," if it is clearly understood that " produc 
tion " in this sense is a very different thing from 
the " production " of food-stuffs by a plant. 

We have been dealing hitherto with suppositions 
the materials of which are furnished by everyday 
experience, not with mere a priori assumptions. 
Our hypothetical solitary shepherd with his flock, 
or the solitary farmer with his grain field, are 
mere bits of such experience, cut out, as it were, 
for easy study. Still borrowing from daily ex 
perience, let us suppose that either sheep-owner 
or farmer, for any reason that may be imagined, 

1 I <lo not forget electric lighting, greenhouses and hothouses, 
and the various modes of affording shelter against violent winds : 
hut in regard to production of food-stuffs on the large scale they 
may he neglected. Even if synthetic chemistry should effect 
the construction of proteids, the Laboratory will hardly enter 
into competition with the Farm within any time which the 
present generation need trouble itself about. 



desires the help of one or more other men ; and 
that, in exchange for their labour, he offers so 
many sheep, or quarts of milk, or pounds of 
cheese, or so many measures of grain, for a year s 
service. I fail to discover any a priori " rights of 
labour " in virtue of which these men may insist 
on being employed, if they are not wanted. But, 
on the other hand, I think it is clear that there 
is only one condition upon which the persons to 
whom the offer of these " wages " is made can 
accept it ; and that is that the things offered in 
exchange for a year s work shall contain at least 
as much vital capital as a man uses up in doing 
the year s work. For no rational man could 
knowingly and willingly accept conditions which 
necessarily involve starvation. Therefore there is 
an irreducible minimum of wages ; it is such an 
amount of vital capital as suffices to replace the 
inevitable consumption of the person hired. Now, 
surely, it is beyond a doubt that these wages, 
whether at or above the irreducible minimum, are 
paid out of the capital disposable after the wants 
of the owner of the flock or of the crop of grain 
are satisfied ; and, from what has been said already, 
it follows that there is a limit to the number of 
men, whether hired, or brought in in any other 
way, who can be maintained by the sheepowner 
or landowner out of his own resources. Since no 
amount of labour can produce an ounce of food 
stuff beyond the maximum producible by a limited 



number of plants, under the most favourable 
circumstances in regard to those conditions which 
are not affected by labour, it follows that, if the 
number of men to be fed increases indefinitely, a 
time must come when some will have to starve. 
That is the essence of the so-called Malthusian 
doctrine ; and it is a truth which, to my mind, is 
as plain as the general proposition that a quan 
tity which constantly increases will, some time or 
other, exceed any greater quantity the amount of 
which is fixed. 

The foregoing considerations leave no doubt 
about the fundamental condition of the existence 
of any polity, or organised society of men, either in 
a purely pastoral or purely agricultural state, or 
in any mixture of both states. It must possess a 
store of vital capital to start with, and the means 
of repairing the consumption of that capital which 
takes place as a consequence of the work of the 
members of the society. And, if the polity occu 
pies a completely isolated area of the earth s 
surface, the numerical strength of that polity can 
never exceed the quotient of the maximum 
quantity of food-stuffs producible by the green 
plants on that area, in each year, divided by the 
quantity necessary for the maintenance of each 
person during the year. But, there is a third 
mode of existence possible to a polity ; it may, 
conceivably, be neither purely pastoral nor purely 
agricultural, but purely manufacturing. Let us 

M 2 


suppose three islands, like Gran Canaria, Teneriffe 
and Lanzerote, in the Canaries, to be quite cut off 
from the rest of the world. Let Gran Canaria 
be inhabited by grain-raisers, Teneriffe by cattle- 
breeders ; while the population of Lanzerote 
(which we may suppose to be utterly barren) 
consists of carpenters, woollen manufacturers, and 
shoemakers. Then the facts of daily experience 
teach us that the people of Lanzerote could never 
have existed unless they came to the island 
provided with a stock of food-stuffs ; and that 
they could not continue to exist, unless that stock, 
as it was consumed, was made up by contributions 
from the vital capital of either Gran Canaria, or 
Teneriffe, or both. Moreover, the carpenters of 
Lanzerote could do nothing, unless they were 
provided with wood from the other islands ; nor 
could the wool spinners and weavers or the 
shoemakers work without wool and skins from the 
same sources. The wood and the wool and the 
skins are, in fact, the capital without which their 
work as manufacturers in their respective trades 
is impossible so that the vital and other capital 
supplied by Gran Canaria and Teneriffe is most 
indubitably the necessary antecedent of the 
industrial labour of Lanzerote. It is perfectly 
true that by the time the wood, the wool, and the 
skins reached Lanzerote a good deal of labour in 
cutting, shearing, skinning, transport, and so on, 
would have been spent upon them. But this 


does not alter the fact that the only " production " 
which is essential to the existence of the popula 
tion of Teneriffe and Gran Canaria is that effected 
by the green plants in both islands ; and that all 
the labour spent upon the raw produce useful in 
manufacture, directly or indirectly yielded by 
them by the inhabitants of these islands and 
by those of Lanzerote into the bargain will not 
provide one solitary Lanzerotian with a dinner, 
unless the Teneriffians and Canariotes happen to 
want his goods and to be willing to give some of 
their vital capital in exchange for them. 

Under the circumstances defined, if TenerifFe 
and Gran Canaria disappeared, or if their inhabit 
ants ceased to care for carpentry, clothing, or 
shoes, the people of Lanzerote must starve. But 
if they wish to buy, then the Lanzerotians, by 
" cultivating " the buyers, indirectly favour the 
cultivation of the produce of those buyers. 

Thus, if the question is asked whether the 
labour employed in manufacture in Lanzerote is 
" productive " or " unproductive " there can be only 
one reply. If anybody will exchange vital capital, 
or that which can be exchanged for vital capital, 
for Lanzerote goods, it is productive ; if not, it is 

In the case of the manufacturer, the dependence 
of labour upon capital is still more intimate than 
in that of the herdsman or agriculturist. When 
the latter are once started they can go on, without 


troubling themselves about the existence of any 
other people. But the manufacturer depends on 
pre-existing capital, not only at the beginning, but 
at the end of his operations. However great the 
expenditure of his labour and of his skill, the 
result, for the purpose of maintaining his exist* 
ence, is just the same as if he had done nothing, 
unless there is a customer able and willing to 
exchange food-stuffs for that which his labour and 
skill have achieved. 

There is another point concerning which it is 
very necessary to have clear ideas. Suppose a 
carpenter in Lanzerote to be engaged in making 
chests of drawers. Let us suppose that a, the 
timber, and b, the grain and meat needful for the 
man s sustenance until he can finish a chest of 
drawers, have to be paid for by that chest. 
Then the capital with which he starts is repre 
sented by a 4- b. He could not start at all unless 
he had it ; day by day, he must destroy more or 
less of the substance and of the general adapta 
bility of a in order to work it up into the special 
forms needed to constitute the chest of drawers ; 
and, day by day, he must use up at least so much 
of b as will replace his loss of vital capital by the 
work of that day. Suppose it takes the car 
penter and his workmen ten days to saw up the 
timber, to plane the boards, and to give them the 
shape and size proper for the various parts of the 
chest of drawers. And suppose that he then 


offers his heap of boards to the advancer of a -f b as 
an equivalent for the wood + ten days supply of 
vital capital ? The latter will surely say : " No. 
I did not ask for a heap of boards. I asked for a 
chest of drawers. Up to this time, so far as I am 
concerned, you have done nothing and are as 
much in my debt as ever." And if the carpenter 
maintained that he had " virtually " created two- 
thirds of a chest of drawers, inasmuch as it would 
take only five days more to put together the pieces 
of wood, and that the heap of boards ought to 
be accepted as the equivalent of two-thirds of his 
debt, I am afraid the creditor would regard him 
as little better than an impudent swindler. It 
obviously makes no sort of difference whether the 
Canariote or Teneriffian buyer advanced the wood 
and the food-stuffs, on which the carpenter had to 
maintain himself; or whether the carpenter had a 
stock of both, the consumption of which must be 
recouped by the exchange of a chest of drawers for 
ji fresh supply. In the latter case, it is even less 
doubtful that, if the carpenter offered his boards 
to the man who wanted a chest of drawers, the 
latter would laugh in his face. And if he took 
the chest of drawers for himself, then so much of 
his vital capital would be sunk in it past recovery. 
Again, the payment of goods in a lump, for the 
chest of drawers, comes to the same thing as the 
payment of daily wages for the fifteen days that 


the carpenter was occupied in making it. If, at 
the end of each day, the carpenter chose to say to 
himself " I have virtually created, by my day s 
labour, a fifteenth of what I shall get for the chest 
of drawers therefore my wages are the produce of 
my day s labour " there is no great harm in such 
metaphorical speech, so long as the poor man does 
not delude himself into the supposition that it 
represents the exact truth. " Virtually " is apt to 
cover more intellectual sins than " charity " does 
moral delicts. After what has been said, it surely 
must be plain enough that each day s work has 
involved the consumption of the carpenter s vital 
capital, and the fashioning of his timber, at the 
expense of more or less consumption of those 
forms of capital. Whether the a + b to be ex 
changed for the chest has been advanced as a loan, 
or is paid daily or weekly as wages, or, at some 
later time, as the price of a finished commodity 
the essential element of the transaction, and the 
only essential element, is, that it must, at least, 
effect the replacement of the vital capital con 
sumed. Neither boards nor chest of drawers are 
eatable; and, so far from the carpenter having 
produced the essential part of his wages by each 
day s labour, he has merely wasted that labour, 
unless somebody who happens to want a chest of 
drawers offers to exchange vital capital, or some 
thing that can procure it, equivalent to the 


amount consumed during the process of manu 
facture. 1 

That it should be necessary, at this time of day, 
to set forth such elementary truths as these may 
well seem strange ; but no one who consults that in 
teresting museum of political delusions, " Progress 
and Poverty," some of the treasures of which I 
have already brought to light, will doubt the 
fact, if he bestows proper attention upon the 
first book of that widely-read work. At page 15 
it is thus written : 

The proposition I shall endeavour to prove is : that wages, 
instead of being drawn from capital, are, in reality, drawn from 
the product of the labour for which they are paid. 

Again at page 18 : 

In every case in which labour is exchanged for commodities, 
production really precedes enjoyment . . . wages are the 
earnings that is to say, the makings of labour not the 
advances of capital. 

And the proposition which the author en 
deavours to disprove is the hitherto generally 
accepted doctrine 

that labour is maintained and paid out of existing capital, 
before the product which constitutes the ultimate object is 
secured (p. 16). 

The doctrine respecting the relation of capital 
and wages, which is thus opposed in " Progress and 
1 See the discussion of this subject further on. 


Poverty," is that illustrated in the foregoing pages ; 
the truth of which, I conceive, must be plain to 
any one who has apprehended the very simple 
arguments by which I have endeavoured to 
demonstrate it. One conclusion or the other 
must be hopelessly wrong ; and, even at the cost of 
going once more over some of the ground traversed 
in this essay and that on " Natural and Political 
Rights," 1 1 propose to show that the error lies with 
" Progress and Poverty" ; in which work, so far as 
political science is concerned, the poverty is, to 
my eye, much more apparent than the progress. 

To begin at the beginning. The author pro 
pounds a definition of wealth : " Nothing which 
nature supplies to man without his labour is 
wealth " (p. 28). Wealth consists of " natural sub 
stances or products which have been adapted by 
human labour to human use or gratification, their 
value depending upon the amount of labour which, 
upon the average, would be required to produce 
things of like kind" (p. 27). The following 
examples of wealth are given : 

Buildings, cattle, tools, machinery, agricultural and mineral 
products, manufactured goods,- ships, waggons, furniture, and 
the like (p. 27). 

I take it that native metals, coal and brick 
clay, are " mineral products " ; and I quite believe 
that they are properly termed " wealth." But 
when a seam of coal crops out at the surface, and 

1 Collected Essays, vol. i. pp. 359-382. 


lumps of coal are to be had for the picking up ; 
or when native copper lies about in nuggets, or 
when brick clay forms a superficial stratum, it 
appears to me that these things are supplied to, 
nay almost thrust upon, man without his labour. 
According to the definition, therefore, they are not 
" wealth." According to the enumeration, however, 
they are " wealth " : a tolerably fair specimen of a 
contradiction in terms. Or does " Progress and 
Poverty " really suggest that a coal seam which 
crops out at the surface is not wealth ; but that if 
somebody breaks off a piece and carries it away, 
the bestowal of this amount of labour upon that 
particular lump makes it wealth ; while the rest 
remains " not wealth " ? The notion that the 
value of a thing bears any necessary relation to 
the amount of labour (average or otherwise) be 
stowed upon it, is a fallacy which needs no further 
refutation than it has already received. The average 
amount of labour bestowed upon warming-pans 
confers no value upon them in the eyes of a Gold- 
Coast negro ; nor would an Esquimaux give a slice 
of blubber for the most elaborate of ice-machines. 
So much for the doctrine of " Progress and 
Poverty" touching the nature of wealth. Let 
us now consider its teachings respecting capital 
as wealth or a part of wealth. Adam Smith s 
definition " that part of a man s stock which 
he expects to yield him a revenue is called his 
capital " is quoted with approval (p. 32) ; else- 


where capital is said to be that part of wealth 
" which is devoted to the aid of production " (p. 
28) ; and yet again it is said to be 

wealth in course of exchange, 1 understanding exchange to 
include, not merely the passing from hand to hand, but also 
such transmutations as occur when the reproductive or trans 
forming forces of nature are utilised for the increase of wealth 
(P- 32). 

But if too much pondering over the possible 
senses and scope of these definitions should weary 
the reader, he will be relieved by the following 
acknowledgment : 

Nor is the definition of capital I have suggested of any 
importance (p. 33). 

The author informs us, in fact, that he is " not 
writing a text-book," thereby intimating his 
opinion that it is less important to be clear and 
accurate when you are trying to bring about a 
political revolution than when a merely academic 
interest attaches to the subject treated. But he 
is not busy about anything so serious as a text 
book : no, he " is only attempting to discover the 
laws which control a great social problem" a 
mode of expression which indicates perhaps the 
high-water mark of intellectual muddlement. I 
have heard, in my time, of " laws " which control 
other " laws " ; but this is the first occasion on 
which " laws " which " control a problem " have 
come under my notice. Even the disquisitions " of 
1 The italics are the author s. 


those flabby writers who have burdened the press 
and darkened counsel by numerous volumes which 
are dubbed political economy " (p. 28) could hardly 
furnish their critics with a finer specimen of that 
which a hero of the " Dunciad," by the one flash of 
genius recorded of him, called " clotted nonsense." 
Doubtless it is a sign of grace that the author 
of these definitions should attach no importance 
to any of them ; but since, unfortunately, his 
whole argument turns upon the tacit assumption 
that they are important, I may not pass them 
over so lightly. The third I give up. Why any 
thing should be capital when it is " in course of 
exchange," and not be capital under other circum 
stances, passes my understanding. We are told 
that " that part of a farmer s crop held for sale or 
for seed, or to feed his help, in part payment of 
wages, would be accounted capital ; that held for 
the care of his family would not be " (p. 31). But 
I fail to discover any ground of reason or authority 
for the doctrine that it is only when a crop is 
about to be sold or sown, or given as wages, that 
it may be called capital. On the contrary, whether 
we consider custom or reason, so much of it as is 
stored away in ricks and barns during harvest, 
and remains there to be used in any of these ways 
months or years afterwards, is customarily and 
rightly termed capital. Surely, the meaning of the 
clumsy phrase that capital is " wealth in the course 
of exchange " must be that it is " wealth capable of 


being exchanged " against labour or anything else. 
That, in fact, is the equivalent of the second 
definition, that capital is " that part of wealth 
which is devoted to the aid of production." 
Obviously, if you possess that for which men will 
give labour, you can aid production by means of 
that labour. And, again, it agrees with the first 
definition (borrowed from Adam Smith) that 
capital is " that part of a man s stock which he 
expects to yield him a revenue." For a revenue 
is both etymologically and in sense a "return." 
A man gives his labour in sowing grain, or in 
tending cattle, because he expects a " return " a 
" revenue " in the shape of the increase of the 
grain or of the herd ; and also, in the latter case, 
in the shape of their labour and manure which 
" aid the production " of such increase. The grain 
and cattle of which he is possessed immediately 
after harvest is his capital ; and his revenue for the 
twelvemonth, until the next harvest, is the surplus 
of grain and cattle over and above the amount 
with which he started. This is disposable for 
any purpose for which he may desire to use it, 
leaving him just as well off as he was at the 
beginning of the year. Whether the man keeps 
the surplus grain for sowing more land, and the 
surplus cattle for occupying more pasture ; whether 
he exchanges them for other commodities, such 
as the use of the land (as rent) ; or labour (as 
wages); or whether he feeds himself and his 


family, in no way alters their nature as revenue, 
or affects the fact that this revenue is merely 
disposable capital. 

That (even apart from etymology) cattle are 
typical examples of capital cannot be denied 
(" Progress and Poverty," p. 25) ; and if we seek 
for that particular quality of cattle which makes 
them " capital," neither has the author of " Pro 
gress and Poverty" supplied, nor is any one else 
very likely to supply, a better account of the 
matter than Adam Smith has done. Cattle are 
" capital " because they are " stock which yields 
revenue." That is to say, they afford to their 
owner a supply of that which he desires to pos 
sess. And, in this particular case, the " revenue " 
is not only desirable, but of supreme importance, 
inasmuch as it is capable of maintaining human 
life. The herd yields a revenue of food-stuffs as 
milk and meat ; a revenue of skins ; a revenue of 
manure ; a revenue of labour ; a revenue of ex 
changeable commodities in the shape of these 
things, as well as in that of live cattle. In each 
and all of these capacities cattle are capital; and, 
conversely, things which possess any or all of 
these capacities are capital. 

Therefore what we find at page 25 of " ProgreFS 
and Poverty " must be regarded as a welcome 
lapse into clearness of apprehension : 

A fertile field, a rich vein of ore, a falling stream which sup 
plies power, may give the possessor advantages equivalent to the 


possession of capital ; but to class such things as capital would 
be to put an end to the distinction between land and capital. 

Just so. But the fatal truth is that these things 
are capital ; and that there really is no funda 
mental distinction between land and capital. Is 
it denied that a fertile field, a rich vein of ore, or 
a falling stream, may form part of a man s stock, 
and that, if they do, they are capable of yielding 
revenue ? Will not somebody pay a share of the 
produce in kind, or in money, for the privilege of 
cultivating the first ; royalties for that of working 
the second; and a like equivalent for that of 
erecting a mill on the third ? In what sense, then, 
are these things less " capital " than the buildings 
and tools which on page 27 of " Progress and 
Poverty " are admitted to be capital ? Is it not 
plain that if these things confer " advantages 
equivalent to the possession of capital," and if the 
" advantage " of capital is nothing but the yielding 
of revenue, then the denial that they are capital 
is merely a roundabout way of self-contradiction ? 
All this confused talk about capital, however, 
is lucidity itself compared with the exposition of 
the remarkable thesis, " Wages not drawn from 
capital, but produced by labour," which occupies 
the third chapter of " Progress and Poverty." 

If, for instance, I devote my labour to gathering birds eggs 
or picking wild berries, the eggs or berries I thus get are my wages. 
Surely no one will contend that, in such a case, wages are 
drawn from capital. There is no capital in the case (p. 34). 


Nevertheless, those who have followed what has 
been said in the first part of this essay surely 
neither will, nor can, have any hesitation about 
substantially adopting the challenged contention, 
though they may possibly have qualms as to the 
propriety of the use of the term " wages." l They 
will have no difficulty in apprehending the fact 
that birds eggs and berries are stores of food 
stuffs, or vital capital ; that the man who devotes 
his labour to getting them does so at the expense 
of his personal vital capital ; and that, if the eggs 
and the berries are " wages" for his work, they are so 
because they enable him to restore to his organism 
the vital capital which he has consumed in doing 
the work of collection. So that there is really a 
great deal of " capital in the case." 
Our author proceeds : 

An absolutely naked man, thrown on an island where no 
human being has before trod, may gather birds eggs or pick 
berries (p. 34). 

No doubt. But those who have followed my 
argument thus far will be aware that a man s 
vital capital does not reside in his clothes ; and, 
therefore, they will probably fail, as completely as 
I do, to discover the relevancy of the statement. 

1 Not merely on the grounds stated below, but on the 
strength of Mr. George s own definition. Does the gatherer of 
eggs, or berries, produce them by his labour If so, what do 
the hens and the bushes do ? 



Again : 

Or, if I take a piece of leather and work it up into a pair of 
shoes, the shoes are my wages the reward of my exertion. 
Surely they are not drawn from capital either my capital or 
anybody else s capital but are brought into existence by the 
labour of which they became the wages ; and, in obtaining this 
pair of shoes as the wages of my labour, capital is not even 
momentarily lessened one iota. For if we call in the idea of 
capital, my capital at the beginning consists of the piece of 
leather, the thread, &c. (p. 34). 

It takes away one s breath to have such a con 
catenation of fallacies administered in the space 
of half a paragraph. It does not seem to have- 
occurred to our economical reformer to imagine 
whence his " capital at the beginning," the " leather, 
thread, c." came. I venture to suppose that 
leather to have been originally cattle-skin ; and 
since calves and oxen are not flayed alive, the 
existence of the leather implies the lessening of 
that form of capital by a very considerable iota. 
It is, therefore, as sure as anything can be that, 
in the long run, the shoes are drawn from that 
which is capital par excelleme ; to wit, cattle. It 
is further beyond doubt that the operation of 
tanning must involve loss of capital in the shape 
of bark, to say nothing of other losses ; and that 
the use of the awls and knives of the shoemaker 
involves loss of capital in the shape of the store of 
iron ; further, the shoemaker has been enabled to 
do his work not only by the vital capital expended 
during the time occupied in making the pair of 


shoes, but by that expended from the time of his 
birth, up to the time that he earned wages that 
would keep him alive. 

" Progress and Poverty " continues : 

As my labour goes on, value is steadily added until, when my 
labour results in the finished shoes, I have my capital plus the 
difference in value between the material and the shoes. In 
obtaining this additional value my wages how is capital, at 
any time, drawn upon ? (p. 34). 

In return we may inquire, how can any one 
propound such a question ? Capital is drawn 
upon all the time. Not only when the shoes are 
commenced, but while they are being made, and 
until they are either used by the shoemaker him 
self or are purchased by somebody else ; that is, 
exchanged for a portion of another man s capital. 
In fact (supposing that the shoemaker does not 
want shoes himself), it is the existence of vital 
capital in the possession of another person and the 
willingness of that person to part with more or 
less of it in exchange for the shoes it is these 
two conditions, alone, which prevent the shoe 
maker from having consumed his capital unpro- 
ductively, just as much as if he had spent his 
time in chopping up the leather into minute 

Thus, the examination of the very case selected 
by the advocate of the doctrine that labour be 
stowed upon manufacture, without any interven 
tion of capital, can produce wages, proves to be a 

N 2 


delusion of the first magnitude ; even though it 
be supported by the dictum of Adam Smith which 
is quoted in its favour (p. 34) 

The produce of labour constitutes the natural recompense or 
wages of labour. In that original state of things which precedes 
both the appropriation of land and the accumulation of stock, 
the whole produce of labour belongs to the labourer. He has 
neither landlord nor master to share with him ("Wealth of 
Nations," ch. viii.). 

But the whole of this passage exhibits the in 
fluence of the French Physiocrats by whom Adam 
Smith was inspired, at their worst ; that is to say, 
when they most completely forsook the ground of 
experience for a priori speculation. The confident 
reference to " that original state of things " is 
quite in the manner of the Essai sur VIntgalitt. 
Now, the state of men before the " appropriation 
of land " and the " accumulation of stock " must 
surely have been that of purely savage hunters. 
As, by the supposition, nobody would have 
possessed land, certainly no man could have had 
a landlord ; and, if there was no accumulation of 
stock in a transferable form, as surely there could 
be no master, in the sense of hirer. But hirer 
and hire (that is, wages) are correlative terms, 
like mother and child. As "child" implies 
" mother," so does " hire " or " wages " imply a 
" hirer " or " wage-giver." Therefore, when a man 
in " the original state of things " gathered fruit or 
killed game for his own sustenance, the fruit or 


the game could be called his " wages " only in a 
figurative sense ; as one sees if the term " hire," 
which has a more limited connotation, is substi 
tuted for "wage." If not, it must be assumed 
that the savage hired himself to get his own 
dinner; whereby we are led to the tolerably 
absurd conclusion that, as in the " state of nature " 
he was his own employer, the " master " and the 
labourer, in that model age, appropriated the pro 
duce in equal shares I And if this should be not 
enough, it has already been seen that, in the 
hunting state, man is not even an accessory of 
production of vital capital ; he merely consumes 
what nature produces. 

According to the author of " Progress and 
Poverty" political economists have been deluded 
by a " fallacy which has entangled some of the 
most acute minds in a web of their own spinning." 

It is in the use of the term capital in two senses. In the 
primary proposition that capital is necessary to the exertion of 
productive labour, the term " capital " is understood as including 
all food, clothing, shelter, &c. ; whereas in the deductions 
finally drawn from it, the term is used in its common and 
legitimate meaning of wealth devoted, not to the immediate 
gratification of desire, but to the procurement of more wealth 
of wealth in the hands of employers as distinguished from 
labourers (p. 40). 

I am by no means concerned to defend the 
political economists who are thus charged with 
blundering ; but I shall be surprised to learn that 
any have carried the art of self-entanglement to 


the degree of perfection exhibited by this passage. 
Who has ever imagined that wealth which, in the 
hands of an employer, is capital, ceases to be capital 
if it is in the hands of a labourer? Suppose 
a workman to be paid thirty shillings on Saturday 
evening for six days labour, that thirty shillings 
comes out of the employer s capital, and receives 
the name of " wages " simply because it is ex 
changed for labour. In the workman s pocket, 
as he goes home, it is a part of his capital, in 
exactly the same sense as, half an hour before, it 
was part of the employer s capital ; he is a 
capitalist just as much as if lie were a Rothschild. 
Suppose him to be a single man, whose cooking 
and household matters are attended to by the 
people of the house in which he has a room ; 
then the rent which he pays them out of this 
capital is, in part, wages for their labour, and he 
is, so far, an employer. If he saves one shilling 
out of his thirty, he has, to that extent, added to 
his capital when the next Saturday comes round. 
And if he puts his saved shillings Aveek by week 
into the Savings Bank, the difference between him 
and the most bloated of bankers is simply one of 

At page 42, we are confidently told that 
" labourers by receiving wages " cannot lessen 
" even temporarily " the " capital of the employer," 
while at page 44 it is admitted that in certain 
cases the capitalist " pays out capital in wages." 


One would think that the " paying out " of 
capital is hardly possible without at least a 
" temporary " diminution of the capital from which 
payment is made. But " Progress and Poverty " 
changes all that by a little verbal legerdemain : 

For where wages are paid before the object of the labour is 
obtained, or is finished as in agriculture, where ploughing and 
sowing must precede by several months the harvesting of the 
crop ; as in the erection of buildings, the construction of ships, 
railroads, canals, &c. it is clear that the owners of the capital 
paid in wages cannot expect an immediate return, but, as the 
phrase is, must "outlay it " or "lie out of it " for a time which 
sometimes amounts to many years. And hence, if first princi 
ples are not kept in mind, it is easy to jump to the conclusion 
that wages are advanced by capital (p. 44). 

Those who have paid attention to the argument 
of former parts of this paper may not be able to 
understand how, if sound "first principles are 
kept in mind," any other conclusion can be 
reached, whether by jumping, or by any other 
mode of logical progression. But the first principle 
which our author " keeps in mind " possesses just 
that amount of ambiguity which enables him to 
play hocus-pocus with it. It is this ; that " the 
creation of value does not depend upon the fin 
ishing of the product " (p. 44). 

There is no doubt that, under certain limitations, 
this proposition is correct. It is not true that 
"labour always adds to capital by its exertion 
before it takes from capital its wages" (p. 44)> 


but it is true that it may, and often does, produce 
that effect. 

To take one of the examples given, the con 
struction of a ship. The shaping of the timbers 
undoubtedly gives them a value (for a shipbuilder) 
which they did not possess before. When they 
are put together to constitute the framework of 
the ship, there is a still further addition of value 
(for a shipbuilder) ; and when the outside planking 
is added, there is another addition (for a ship 
builder). Suppose everything else about the hull 
is finished, except the one little item of caulking 
the seams, there is no doubt that it has still 
more value for a shipbuilder. But for whom else 
has it any value, except perhaps for a fire-wood 
merchant ? What price will any one who wants 
a ship that is to say, something that will carry a 
cargo from one port to another give for the un 
finished vessel which would take water in at 
every seam and go down in half an hour, if she 
were launched ? Suppose the shipbuilder s capital 
to fail before the vessel is caulked, and that he 
cannot find another shipbuilder who cares to buy 
and finish it, what sort of proportion does the 
value created by the labour, for which he has paid 
out of his capital, stand to that of his advances ? 
Surely no one will give him one-tenth of the 
capital disbursed in wages, perhaps not so much 
even as the prime cost of the raw materials. 
Therefore, though the assertion that " the creation 


of value does not depend on the finishing of the 
product" may be strictly true under certain cir 
cumstances, it need not be and is not always true. 
And, if it is meant to imply or suggest that the 
creation of value in a manufactured article does 
not depend upon the finishing of that article, a 
more serious error could hardly be propounded. 

Is there not a prodigious difference in the value 
of an uncaulked and in that of a finished ship ; 
between the value of a house in which only the 
tiles of the roof are wanting and a finished house ; 
between that of a clock which only lacks the 
escapement and a finished clock ? 

As ships, house, and clock, the unfinished 
articles have no value whatever that is to say, 
no person who wanted to purchase one of these 
things, for immediate use, would give a farthing 
for either. The only value they can have, apart 
from that of the materials they contain, is 
that which they possess for some one who can 
finish them, or for some one who can make use 
of parts of them for the construction of other 
things. A man might buy an unfinished house 
for the sake of the bricks ; or he might buy an 
incomplete clock to use the works for some other 
piece of machinery. 

Thus, though every stage of the labour bestowed 
on raw material, for the purpose of giving rise to a 
certain product, confers some additional value on 
that material in the estimation of those who are 


engaged in manufacturing that product, the 
ratio of that accumulated value, at any stage of 
the process, to the value of the finished product 
is extremely inconstant, and often small; while, 
to other persons, the value of the unfinished pro 
duct may be nothing, or even a minus quantity. 
A house-timber merchant, for example, might 
consider that wood which had been worked into 
the ribs of a ship was spoiled that is, had less 
value than it had as a log. 

According to " Progress and Poverty," there was, 
really, no advance of capital while the great St. 
Gothard tunnel was cut. Suppose that, as the Swiss 
and the Italian halves of the tunnel approached 
to within half a kilometre, that half-kilometre had 
turned out to be composed of practically impene 
trable rock would anybody have given a centime 
for the unfinished tunnel ? And if not, how comes 
it that " the creation of value does not depend on 
the finishing of the product " ? 

I think it may be not too much to say that, of 
all the political delusions which are current in this 
queer world, the very stupidest are those which 
assume that labour and capital are necessarily 
antagonistic ; that all capital is produced by labour 
and therefore, by natural right, is the property of 
the labourer; that the possessor of capital is a robber 
who preys on the workman and appropriates to him 
self that which he has had no share in producing. 


On the contrary, capital and labour are, 
necessarily, close allies ; capital is never a product 
of human labour alone ; it exists apart from 
human labour ; it is the necessary antecedent of 
labour ; and it furnishes the materials on which 
labour is employed. The only indispensable form 
of capital vital capital cannob be produced by 
human labour. All that man can do is to favour 
its formation by the real producers. There is no 
intrinsic relation between the amount of labour 
bestowed on an article and its value in exchange. 
The claim of labour to the total result of operations 
which are rendered possible only by capital is 
simply an a priori iniquity. 





THE letters which are here collected together 
were published in the " Times " in the course of 
the months of December, 1890, and January, 

The circumstances which led me to write the 
first letter are sufficiently set forth in its opening- 
sentences ; and the materials on which I based my 
criticisms of Mr. Booth s scheme, in this and in 
the second letter, were wholly derived from Mr. 
Booth s book. I had some reason to know, how 
ever, that when anybody allows his sense of duty 
so far to prevail over his sense of the blessedness 
of peace as to write a letter to the " Times," on 


any subject of public interest, his reflections, be 
fore he has done with the business, will be very 
like those of Johnny Gilpin, " who little thought, 
when he set out, of running such a rig." Such 
undoubtedly are mine when I contemplate these 
twelve documents, and call to mind the distinct ad 
dition to the revenue of the Post Office which must 
have accrued from the mass of letters and 
pamphlets which have been delivered at my 
door ; to say nothing of the unexpected light 
upon my character, motives, and doctrines, which 
has been thrown by some of the " Times " corre 
spondents, and by no end of comments elsewhere. 
If self-knowledge is the highest aim of man, I 
ought by this time to have little to learn. And 
yet, if I am awake, some of my teachers unable, 
perhaps, to control the divine fire of the poetic 
imagination which is so closely akin to, if not a 
part of, the mythopceic faculty have surely 
dreamed dreams. So far as my humbler and 
essentially prosaic faculties of observation and 
comparison go, plain facts are against them. But, 
as I may be mistaken, I have thought it well to 
prefix to the letters (by way of " Prolegomena ") 
an essay which appeared in the " Nineteenth 
Century" for January, 1888, in which the prin 
ciples that, to my mind, lie at the bottom of the 
" social question " are stated. So far as Indi 
vidualism and Regimental Socialism are con 
cerned, this paper simply emphasizes and expands 


the opinions expressed in an address to the members 
of the Midland Institute, delivered seventeen years 
earlier, and still more fully developed in several 
essays published in the " Nineteenth Century " in 
188i), which I hope, before long, to republish. 1 

The fundamental proposition which runs 
through the writings, which thus extend over a 
period of twenty years, is, that the common 
a priori doctrines and methods of reasoning about 
political and social questions are essentially 
vicious ; and that argumentation on this basis 
leads, with equal logical force, to two contradictory 
and extremely mischievous systems, the one that 
of Anarchic Individualism, the other that of 
despotic or Regimental Socialism. Whether I 
am right or wrong, I am at least consistent in 
opposing both to the best of my ability. Mr. 
Booth s system appears to me, and, as I h;ivo 
shown, is regarded by Socialists themselves, to be 
mere autocratic Socialism, masked by its theo 
logical exterior. That the " fantastic " religious 
skin will wear away, and the Socialistic reality it 
covers will show its real nature, is the expressed 
hope of one candid Socialist, and may be fairly 
conceived to be the unexpressed belief of the 
despotic leader of the new Trades Union, who 
has shown his zeal, if not his discretion, in cham 
pioning Mr. Booth s projects. [See Letter VIII.] 

1 See Collected Essays, vol. i. p. 290 to end ; and this volume, 
p. 147. 


Yet another word to commentators upon my 
letters. There are some who rather chuckle, and 
some who sneer, at what they seem to consider 
the dexterity of an " old controversial hand," 
exhibited by the contrast which I have drawn 
between the methods of conversion depicted in 
the New Testament and those pursued by 
fanatics of the Salvationist type, whether they 
be such as are now exploited by Mr. Booth, or 
such as those who, from the time of the Ana 
baptists, to go no further back, have worked upon 
similar lines. 

Whether such observations were intended to 
be flattering or sarcastic, I must respectfully 
decline to accept the compliment, or to apply the 
sarcasm to myself. I object to obliquity of pro 
cedure and ambiguity of speech in all shapes. 
And I confess that I find it difficult to understand 
the state of mind which leads any one to suppose, 
that deep respect for single-minded devotion to 
high aims is incompatible with the unhesitating 
conviction that those aims include the propagation 
of doctrines which are devoid of foundation 
perhaps even mischievous. 

The most degrading feature of the narrower 
forms of Christianity (of which that professed by 
Mr. Booth is a notable example) is their insistence 
that the noblest virtues, if displayed by those who 
reject their pitiable formula, are, as their pet 
phrase goes, " splendid sins." But there is, 


perhaps, one step lower ; and that is that men, 
who profess freedom of thought, should fail to 
see and appreciate that large soul of goodness 
which often animates even the fanatical adherents 
of such tenets. I am sorry for any man who can 
read the epistles to the Galatians and the Corin 
thians without yielding a large meed of admiration 
to the fervent humanity of Paul of Tarsus ; who 
can study the lives of Francis of Assisi, or of 
Catherine of Siena, without wishing that, for the 
furtherance of his own ideals, he might be even 
as they ; or who can contemplate unmoved the 
steadfast veracity and true heroism which loom 
through the fogs of mystical utterance in George 
Fox. In all these great men and women there 
lay the root of the matter ; a burning desire to 
amend the condition of their fellow-men, and to 
put aside all other things for that end. If, in 
spite of all the dogmatic helps or hindrances in 
which they were entangled, these people are not 
to be held in high honour, who are ? 

I have never expressed a doubt for I have 
none that, when Mr. Booth left the Methodist 
connection, and started that organisation of the 
Salvation Army upon which, comparatively re 
cently, such ambitious schemes of social reform 
have been grafted, he may have deserved some 
share of such honour. I do not say that, so far 
as his personal desires and intentions go, he may 
not still deserve it. 


But the correlate of despotic authority is 
unlimited responsibility. If Mr. Booth is to take 
credit for any good that the Army system has 
effected, he must be prepared to bear blame for 
its inherent evils. As it seems to me, that has 
happened to him which sooner or later happens 
to all despots : he has become the slave of his 
own creation the prosperity and glory of the 
soul-saving machine have become the end, instead 
of a means, of soul-saving ; and to maintain these 
at the proper pitch, the " General " is led to do 
things which the Mr. Booth of twenty years ago 
would probably have scorned. 

And those who desire, as I most emphatically 
desire, to be just to Mr. Booth, however badly 
they may think of the working of the organisation 
he has founded, will bear in mind that some 
astute backers of his probably care little enough 
for Salvationist religion ; and, perhaps, are not 
very keen about many of Mr. Booth s projects. I 
have referred to the rubbing of the hands of the 
Socialists over Mr. Booth s success j 1 but, unless I 
err greatly, there are politicians of a certain 
school to whom it affords still greater satisfaction. 
Consider what electioneering agents the captains 
of the Salvation Army, scattered through all our 
towns, and directed from a political " bureau " in 
London, would make ! Think how political 
adversaries could be harassed by our local 

1 See Letter VIII. 


attorney " tribune of the people," I mean ; and 
how a troublesome man, on the other side, could 
be " hunted down " upon any convenient charge, 
whether true or false, brought by our Vigilance- 
familiar ! l 

I entirely acquit Mr. Booth of any complicity 
in far-reaching schemes of this kind ; but I did 
not write idly when, in my first letter, I gave no 
vague warning of what might grow out of the 
organised force, drilled in the habit of unhesitating 
obedience, which he has created. 

1 See Letter 11. 




THE vast and varied procession of events, 
which we call Nature, affords a sublime spectacle 
and an inexhaustible wealth of attractive pro 
blems to the speculative observer. If we confine 
our attention to that aspect which engages the 
attention of the intellect, nature appears a beau 
tiful and harmonious whole, the incarnation of a 
faultless logical process, from certain premisses in 
the past to an inevitable conclusion in the future. 
But if it be regarded from a less elevated, though 
more human, point of view ; if our moral sym 
pathies are allowed to influence our judgment, 
and we permit ourselves to criticize our great 
mother as we criticize one another ; then our 
verdict, at least so far as sentient nature is 
concerned, can hardly be so favourable. 

In sober truth, to those who have made a 

o 2 


study of the phenomena of life as they are 
exhibited by the higher forms of the animal 
world, the optimistic dogma, that this is the best 
of all possible worlds, will seem little better than 
a libel upon possibility. It is really only another 
instance to be added to the many extant, of the 
audacity of d priori speculators who, having 
created God in their own image, find no difficulty 
in assuming that the Almighty must have been 
actuated by the same motives as themselves. 
They are quite sure that, had any other course 
been practicable, He would no more have made 
infinite suffering a necessary ingredient of His 
handiwork than a respectable philosopher would 
have done the like. 

But even the modified optimism of the time- 
honoured thesis of physico-theology, that the 
sentient world is, on the whole, regulated by 
principles of benevolence, does but ill stand the 
test of impartial confrontation with the facts of 
the case. No doubt it is quite true that sen 
tient nature affords hosts of examples of subtle 
contrivances directed towards the production of 
pleasure or the avoidance of pain ; and it may be 
proper to say that these are evidences of benevo 
lence. But if so, why is it not equally proper to 
say of the equally numerous arrangements, the no 
less necessary result of which is the production 
of pain, that they are evidences of malevolence ? 

If a vast amount of that which, in a piece of 
human workmanship, we should call skill, is 


visible in those parts of the organization of a 
deer to which it owes its ability to escape from 
beasts of prey, there is at least equal skill 
displayed in that bodily mechanism of the wolf 
which enables him to track, and sooner or later 
to bring down, the deer. Viewed under the dry 
light of science, deer and wolf are alike admirable ; 
and, if both were non-sentient automata, there 
would be nothing to qualify our admiration of 
the action of the one on the other. But the fact 
that the deer suffers, while the wolf inflicts 
suffering, engages our moral sympathies. We 
should call men like the deer innocent and good, 
men such as the wolf malignant and bad; we 
should call those who defended the deer and 
aided him to escape brave and compassionate, 
and those who helped the wolf in his bloody 
work base and cruel. Surely, if we transfer these 
judgments to nature outside the world of man at 
all, we must do so impartially. In that case, the 
goodness of the right hand which helps the deer, 
and the wickedness of the left hand which eggs 
on the wolf, will neutralize one another : and the 
course of nature will appear to be neither moral 
nor immoral, but non-moral. 

This conclusion is thrust upon us by analogous 
facts in every part of the sentient world ; yet, in 
asmuch as it not only jars upon prevalent pre 
judices, but arouses the natural dislike to that 
which is painful, much ingenuity has been exercised 
in devising an escape from it. 


From the theological side, we are told that this 
is a state of probation, and that the seeming 
injustices and immoralities of nature will be com 
pensated by and by. But how this compensation 
is to be effected, in the case of the great majority 
of sentient things, is not clear. I apprehend that 
no one is seriously prepared to maintain that the 
ghosts of all the myriads of generations of her 
bivorous animals which lived during the millions 
of years of the earth s duration, before the appear 
ance of man, and which have all that time been 
tormented and devoured by carnivores, are to be 
compensated by a perennial existence in clover; 
while the ghosts of carnivores are to go to some 
kennel where there is neither a pan of water nor a 
bone with any meat on it. Besides, from the point 
of view of morality, the last stage of things would be 
worse than the first. For the carnivores, however 
brutal and sanguinary, have only done that which, 
if there is any evidence of contrivance in the 
world, they were expressly constructed to do. 
Moreover, carnivores and herbivores alike have be.en 
subject to all the miseries incidental to old age, 
disease, and over-multiplication, and both might 
well put in a claim for "compensation" on this score. 

On the evolutionist side, on the other hand, we 
are told to take comfort from the reflection that 
the terrible struggle for existence tends to final 
good, and that the suffering of the ancestor is paid 
for by the increased perfection of the progeny. 
There would be something in this argument if, in 


Chinese fashion, the present generation could pay 
its debts to its ancestors ; otherwise it is not clear 
what compensation the Eoh-ippus gets for his 
sorrows in the fact that, some millions of years 
afterwards, one of his descendants wins the Derby. 
And, again, it is an error to imagine that evolution 
signifies a constant tendency to increased perfec 
tion. That process undoubtedly involves a constant 
re-modelling of the organism in adaptation to new 
conditions ; but it depends on the nature of those 
conditions whether the direction of the modifi 
cations effected shall be upward or downward. 
Retrogressive is as practicable as progressive 
metamorphosis. If what the physical philosophers 
tell us, that our globe has been in a state of fusion, 
and, like the sun, is gradually cooling down, is 
true ; then the time must come when evolution 
will mean adaptation to an universal winter, and 
all forms of life will die out, except such low and 
simple organisms as the Diatom of the arctic and 
antarctic ice and the Protococcus of the red snow. 
If our globe is proceeding from a condition in 
which it was too hot to support any but the lowest 
living thing to a condition in which it will be too 
cold to permit of the existence of any others, the 
course of life upon its surface must describe a 
trajectory like that of a ball fired from a mortar ; 
and the sinking half of that course is as much a 
part of the general process of evolution as the rising. 
From the point of view of the moralist the 


animal world is on about the same level as a 
gladiator s show. The creatures are fairly well 
treated, and set to fight whereby the strongest, 
the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight 
another day. The spectator has no need to turn 
his thumbs down, as no quarter is given. He 
must admit that the skill and training displayed 
are wonderful. But he must shut his eyes if he 
would not see that more or less enduring suffering 
is the meed of both vanquished and victor. And 
since the great game is going on in every corner 
of the world, thousands of times a minute : since, 
were our ears sharp enough, we need not descend 
to the gates of hell to hear 

sospiri, pianti, cd alti guai. 
Yoci alte c fiochc, e suon di man con cllc 

it seems to follow that, if this world is governed 
by benevolence, it must be a different sort of 
benevolence from that of John Howard. 

But the old Babylonians wisely symbolized 
Nature by their great goddess Istar, who combined 
the attributes of Aphrodite with those of Ares. 
Her terrible aspect is not to be ignored or covered 
up with shams ; but it is not the only one. If 
the optimism of Leibnitz is a foolish though 
pleasant dream, the pessimism of Schopenhauer is 
a nightmare, the more foolish because of its 
hideousness. Error which is not pleasant is 
surely the worst form of wrong. 


This may not be the best of all possible worlds, 
but to say that it is the worst is mere petulant 
nonsense. A worn-out voluptuary may find 
nothing good under the sun, or a vain and 
inexperienced youth, who cannot get the moon he 
cries for, may vent his irritation in pessimistic 
meanings ; but there can be no doubt in the 
mind of any reasonable person that mankind 
could, would, and in fact do, get on fairly well 
with vastly less happiness and far more misery 
than find their way into the lives of nine people 
out of ten. If each and all of us had been visited 
by an attack of neuralgia, or of extreme mental 
depression, for one hour in every twenty-four a 
supposition which many tolerably vigorous people 
know, to their cost, is not extravagant the 
burden of life would have been immensely 
increased without much practical hindrance to its 
general course. Men with any manhood in them 
find life quite worth living under worse conditions 
than these. 

There is another sufficiently obvious fact, which 
renders the hypothesis that the course of sentient 
nature is dictated by malevolence quite untenable. 
A vast multitude of pleasures, and these among 
the purest and the best, are superfluities, bits 
of good which are to all appearance unneces 
sary as inducements to live, and are, so to speak, 
thrown into the bargain of life. To those who 
experience them, few delights can be more 


entrancing than such as are afforded by natural 
beauty, or by the arts, and especially by music ; 
but they are products of, rather than factors in, 
evolution, and it is probable that they are known, 
in any considerable degree, to but a very small 
proportion of mankind. 

The conclusion of the whole matter seems to 
be that, if Ormuzd has not had his way in 
this world, neither has Ahriman. Pessimism is 
as little consonant with the facts of sentient 
existence as optimism. If we desire to represent 
the course of nature in terms of human thought, 
and assume that it was intended to be that which 
it is, we must say that its governing principle is 
intellectual and not moral ; that it is a material 
ized logical process, accompanied by pleasures and 
pains, the incidence of which, in the majority of 
cases, has not the slightest reference to moral 
desert. That the rain falls alike upon the just 
and the unjust, and that those upon whom the 
Tower of Siloam fell were no worse than their 
neighbours, seem to be Oriental modes of 
expressing the same conclusion. 

In the strict sense of the word " nature," it 
denotes the sum of the phenomenal world, of that 
which has been, and is, and will be ; and society, 
like art, is therefore a part of nature. But it is 
convenient to distinguish those parts of nature in 
which man plays the part of immediate cause, as 


something apart ; and, therefore, society, like art, 
is usefully to be considered as distinct from 
nature. It is the more desirable, and even 
necessary, to make this distinction, since society 
differs from nature in having a definite moral 
object ; whence it comes about that the course 
shaped by the ethical man the member of 
society or citizen necessarily runs counter to 
that which the non-ethical man the primitive 
savage, or man as a mere member of the animal 
kingdom tends to adopt. The latter fights out 
the struggle for existence to the bitter end, like 
any other animal ; the former devotes his best 
energies to the object of setting limits to the 
struggle. 1 

In the cycle of phenomena presented by the 
life of man, the animal, no more moral end is 
discernible than in that presented by the lives of 
the wolf and of the deer. However imperfect the 
relics of prehistoric men may be, the evidence 
which they arford clearly tends to the conclusion 
that, for thousands and thousands of years, before 
the origin of the oldest known civilizations, men 
were savages of a very low type. They strove 
with their enemies and their competitors ; they 
preyed upon things weaker or less cunning than 
themselves ; they were born, multiplied without 
stint, and died, for thousands of generations, 
alongside the mammoth, the urus, the lion, and 

1 [The roaclor will observe that this is the argument of the 
Romanes Lecture, in brief. 1894.] 


the hyaena, whose lives were spent in the same 
way; and they were no more to be praised or 
blamed, on moral grounds, than their less erect 
and more hairy compatriots. 

As among these, so among primitive men, the 
weakest and stupidest went to the wall, while 
the toughest and shrewdest, those who were best 
fitted to cope with their circumstances, but not 
the best in any other sense, survived. Life was a 
continual free fight, and beyond the limited and 
temporary relations of the family, the Hobbesian 
war of each against all was the normal state 
of existence. The human species, like others, 
plashed and floundered amid the general stream 
of evolution, keeping its head above water as it 
best might, and thinking neither of whence nor 

The history of civilization that is, of society 
on the other hand, is the record of the attempts 
which the human race has made to escape from 
this position. The first men who substituted the 
state of mutual peace for that of mutual war, 
whatever the motive which impelled them to 
take that step, created society. But, in establish 
ing peace, they obviously put a limit upon the 
struggle for existence. Between the members of 
that society, at any rate, it was not to be 
pursued a outrancc. And of all the successive 
shapes which society has taken, that most nearly 
approaches perfection in which the war of indi 
vidual against individual is most strictly limited. 


The primitive savage, tutored by Istar, appro 
priated whatever took his fancy, and killed 
whomsoever opposed him, if he could. On the 
contrary, the ideal of the ethical man is to limit 
his freedom of action to a sphere in which he 
does not interfere with the freedom of others ; he 
seeks the common weal as much as his own ; and, 
indeed, as an essential part of his own welfare. 
Peace is both end and means with him ; and he 
founds his life on a more or less complete self- 
restraint, which is the negation of the unlimited 
struggle for existence. He tries to escape from 
his place in the animal kingdom, founded on 
the free development of the principle of non- 
moral evolution, and to establish a kingdom of 
Man, governed upon the principle of moral 
evolution. For society not only has a moral 
end, but in its perfection, social life, is embodied 

But the effort of ethical man to work towards 
a moral end by no means abolished, perhaps has 
hardly modified, the deep-seated organic impulses 
which impel the natural man to follow his non- 
moral course. One of the most essential condi 
tions, if not the chief cause, of the struggle for 
existence, is the tendency to multiply without 
limit, which man shares with all living things. 
It is notable that " increase and multiply " is a 
commandment traditionally much older than the 
ten ; and that it is, perhaps, the only one which 


has been spontaneously and ex animo obeyed by 
the great majority of the human race. But, in 
civilized society, the inevitable result of such 
obedience is the re-establishment, in all its inten 
sity, of that struggle for existence the war of 
each against all the mitigation or abolition of 
which was the chief end of social organisation. 
It is conceivable that, at some period in the 
history of the fabled Atlantis, the production -of 
food should have been exactly sufficient to meet 
the wants of the population, that the makers 
of the commodities of the artificer should have 
amounted to just the number supportable by 
the surplus food of the agriculturists. And, as 
there is no harm in adding another monstrous 
supposition to the foregoing, let it be imagined 
that every man, woman, and child was perfectly 
virtuous, and aimed at the good of all as the 
highest personal good. In that happy land, the 
natural man would have been finally put down 
by the ethical man. There would have been 
no competition, but the industry of each would 
have been serviceable to all; nobody being vain 
and nobody avaricious, there would have been 
no rivalries ; the struggle for existence would 
have been abolished, and the millennium would 
have finally set in. But it is obvious that this 
state of things could have been permanent only 
with a stationary population. Add ten fresh 
mouths ; and as, by the supposition, there was 


only exactly enough before, somebody must go 
on short rations. The Atlantis society might 
have been a heaven upon earth, the whole nation 
might have consisted of just men, needing no 
repentance, and yet somebody must starve. Reck 
less Istar, non-moral Nature, would have riven 
the ethical fabric. I was once talking with a 
very eminent physician l about the vis mcdicatrix 
natures. " Stuff ! " said he ; " nine times out of 
ten nature does not want to cure the man : she 
wants to put him in his coffin." And Istar- 
Nature appears to have equally little sympathy 
with the ends of society. " Stuff ! she wants 
nothing but a fair field and free play for lur 
darling the strongest." 

Our Atlantis may be an impossible figment, 
but the antagonistic tendencies which tho t nblr 
adumbrates have existed in every society which 
was ever established, and, to all appearance, must 
strive for the victory in all that will be. Histor 
ians point to the greed and ambition of rulers, 
to the reckless turbulence of the ruled, to the 
debasing effects of wealth and luxury, and to 
the devastating wars which have formed a great 
part of the occupation of mankind, as the causes 
of the decay of states and the foundering of 
old civilisations, and thereby point their story 
with a moral. No doubt immoral motives of 
all sorts have figured largely among the minor 
1 The late Sir W. Gull. 


causes of these events. But beneath all this 
superficial turmoil lay the deep-seated impulse 
given by unlimited multiplication. In the swarms 
of colonies thrown out by Phoenicia and by old 
Greece ; in the ver sacrum of the Latin races ; 
in the floods of Gauls and of Teutons which 
burst over the frontiers of the old civilisation 
of Europe ; in the swaying to and fro of the 
vast Mongolian hordes in late times, the popula 
tion problem comes to the front in a very visible 
shape. Nor is it less plainly manifest in the 
everlasting agrarian questions of ancient Rome 
than in the Arreoi societies of the Polynesian 

In the ancient world, and in a large part 
of that in which we live, the practice of in 
fanticide was, or is, a regular and legal custom ; 
famine, pestilence, and war were and are normal 
factors in the struggle for existence, and they 
have served, in a gross and brutal fashion, to 
mitigate the intensity of the effects of its chief 

But, in the more advanced civilisations, the 
progress of private and public morality has 
steadily tended to remove all these checks. We 
declare infanticide murder, and punish it as such ; 
we decree, not quite so successfully, that no one 
shall die of hunger ; we regard death from pre- 
ventible causes of other kinds as a sort of construc 
tive murder, and eliminate pestilence to the best 


of our ability; we declaim against the curse of 
war, and the wickedness of the military spirit, and 
we are never weary of dilating on the blessedness of 
peace and the innocent beneficence of Industry. 
In their moments of expansion, even statesmen 
and men of business go thus far. The finer 
spirits look to an ideal eivitas Dei ; a state when 
every man, having reached the point of absolute 
self-negation, and having nothing but moral perfec 
tion to strive after, peace will truly reign, not merely 
among nations, but among men, and the struggle 
for existence will be at an end. 

Whether human nature is competent, under 
any circumstances, to reach, or even seriously 
advance towards, this ideal condition, is a question 
which need not be discussed. It will be admitted 
that mankind has not yet reached -this stage by a 
very long way, and my business is with the pres 
ent. And that which I wish to point out is that, 
so long as the natural man increases and multi 
plies without restraint, so long will peace and 
industry not only permit, but they will necessi 
tate, a struggle for existence as sharp as any that 
ever went on under the regime of war. If Istar 
is to reign on the one hand, she will demand her 
human sacrifices on the other. 

Let us look at home. For seventy years peace 
and industry have had their way among us with 
less interruption and under more favourable 
conditions than in any other country on the 



face of the earth. The wealth of Croesus was 
nothing to that which we have accumulated, and 
our prosperity has filled the world with envy. 
But Nemesis did not forget Croesus : has she for 
gotten us ? 

I think not. There are now 36,000,000 of 
people in our islands, and every year considerably 
more than 300,000 are added to our numbers. 1 
That is to say, about every hundred seconds, or 
so, a new claimant to a share in the common stock 
of maintenance presents him or herself among us. 
At the present time, the produce of the soil does 
not suffice to feed half its population. The other 
moiety has to be supplied with food which must 
be bought from the people of food -producing 
countries. That is to say, we have to offer them 
the things which they want in exchange for the 
things we want. And the things they want and 
which we can produce better than they can are 
mainly manufactures industrial products. 

The insolent reproach of the first Napoleon had 
a very solid foundation. We not only are, but, 
under penalty of starvation, we are bound to be, a 
nation of shopkeepers. But other nations also lie 
under the same necessity of keeping shop, and 
some of them deal in the same goods as ourselves. 

1 These numbers are only approximately accurate. In 1881, 
our population amounted to 35,241,482, exceeding the number 
in 1871 by 3,396,103. The average annual increase in the 
decennial period 18711881 is therefore 339,610. The number 
of minutes in a calendar year is 525,600. 


Our customers naturally seek to get the most and 
the best in exchange for their produce. If our 
goods are inferior to those of our competitors, there 
is no ground, compatible with the sanity of the 
buyers, which can be alleged, why they should not 
prefer the latter. And, if that result should ever 
take place on a large and general scale, five or six 
millions of us would soon have nothing to eat. 
We know what the cotton famine was ; and we 
can therefore form some notion of what a dearth 
of customers would be. 

Judged by an ethical standard, nothing can be 
less satisfactory than the position in which we find 
ourselves. In a real, though incomplete, degree 
we have attained the condition of peace which is 
the main object of social organization ; and, for 
argument s sake, it may be assumed that we 
desire nothing but that which is in itself innocent 
and praiseworthy namely, the enjoyment of the 
fruits of honest industry. And lo I in spite of 
ourselves, we are in reality engaged in an inter 
necine struggle for existence with our presumably 
no less peaceful and well-meaning neighbours. 
We seek peace and we do not ensue it. The 
moral nature in us asks for no more than is com 
patible with the general good ; the non-moral 
nature proclaims and acts upon that fine old 
Scottish family motto, " Thou shalt starve ere I 
want." Let us be under no illusions, then. So 
long as unlimited multiplication goes on, no social 
organization which has ever been devised, or is 

P 2 


likely to be devised, no fiddle-faddling with the 
distribution of wealth, will deliver society from 
the tendency to be destroyed by the reproduction 
within itself, in its intensest form, of that struggle 
for existence the limitation of which is the object 
of society. And however shocking to the moral 
sense this eternal competition of man against man 
and of nation against nation may be; however 
revolting may be the accumulation of misery at 
the negative pole of society, in contrast with that 
of monstrous wealth at the positive pole ; l this 
state of things must abide, and grow continually 
worse, so long as Istar holds her way unchecked. 
It is the true riddle of the Sphinx ; and every 
nation which does not solve it will sooner or later 
be devoured by the monster itself has generated. 

The practical and pressing question for us, just 
now, seems to me to be how to gain time. 
" Time brings counsel," as the Teutonic proverb 
has it ; and wiser folk among our posterity may 
see their way out of that which at present looks 
like an impasse. 

It would be folly to entertain any ill-feeling 
towards those neighbours and rivals who, like 
ourselves, are slaves of Istar ; but, if somebody is 
to be starved, the modern world has no Oracle of 
Delphi to which the nations can appeal for an 
indication of the victim. It is open to us to try 

1 [It is hard to say whether the increase of the unemployed 
poor, or that of the unemployed rich, is the greater social 
evil. 1894.] 


our fortune; and, if we avoid impending fate, 
there will be a certain ground for believing that 
we are the right people to escape. Securus 
judicat orbis. 

To this end, it is well to look into the necessary 
conditions of our salvation by works. They are 
two, one plain to all the world and hardly needing 
insistence ; the other seemingly not so plain, 
since too often it has been theoretically and prac 
tically left out of sight. The obvious condition 
is that our produce shall be better than that of 
others. There is only one reason why our goods 
should be preferred to those of our rivals our 
customers must find them better at the price. 
That means that we must use more knowledge, 
skill, and industry in producing them, without a 
proportionate increase in the cost of production ; 
and, as the price of labour constitutes a large 
element in that cost, the rate of wages must be 
restricted within certain limits. It is perfectly 
true that cheap production and cheap labour are 
by no means synonymous ; but it is also true that 
wages cannot increase beyond a certain proportion 
without destroying cheapness. Cheapness, then, 
with, as part and parcel of cheapness, a moderate 
price of labour, is essential to our success as 
competitors in the markets of the world. 

The second condition is really quite as plainly 
indispensable as the first, if one thinks seriously 
about the matter. It is social stability. Society 


is stable, when the wants of its members obtain 
as much satisfaction as, life being what it is, 
common sense and experience show may be 
reasonably expected. Mankind, in general, care 
very little for forms of government or ideal 
considerations of any sort ; and nothing really 
stirs the great multitude to break with custom 
and incur the manifest perils of revolt except the 
belief that misery in this world, or damnation in 
the next, or both, are threatened by the continu 
ance of the state of things in which they have 
been brought up. But when they do attain that 
conviction, society becomes as unstable as a 
package of dynamite, and a very small matter 
will produce the explosion which sends it back to 
the chaos of savagery. 

It needs no argument to prove that when the 
price of labour sinks below a certain point, 
the worker infallibly falls into that condition 
which the French emphatically call la miserc a 
word for which I do not think there is any exact 
English equivalent. It is a condition in which 
the food, warmth, and clothing which are necessary 
for the mere maintenance of the functions of the 
body in their normal state cannot be obtained : 
in which men, women, and children are forced to 
crowd into dens wherein decency is abolished and 
the most ordinary conditions of healthful exist 
ence are impossible of attainment ; in which the 
pleasures within reach are ivdwvd to bestiality 


and drunkenness ; in which the pains accumulate 
at compound interest, in the shape of starvation, 
disease, stunted development, and moral degrada 
tion ; in which the prospect of even steady and 
honest industry is a life of unsuccessful battling 
with hunger, rounded by a pauper s grave. 

That a certain proportion of the members of 
every great aggregation of mankind should con 
stantly tend to establish and populate such a 
Slough of Despond as this is inevitable, so long 
as some people are by nature idle and vicious, 
while others are disabled by sickness or accident, 
or thrown upon the world by the death of their 
bread-winners. So long as that proportion is 
restricted within tolerable limits, it can be dealt 
with ; and, so far as it arises only from such 
causes, its existence may and must be patiently 
borne. But, when the organization of society, 
instead of mitigating this tendency, tends to 
continue and intensify it ; when a given social 
order plainly makes for evil and not for good, men 
naturally enough begin to think it high time to 
try a fresh experiment. The animal man, finding 
that the ethical man has landed him in such a 
slough, resumes his ancient sovereignty, and 
preaches anarchy ; which is, substantially, a 
proposal to reduce the social cosmos to chaos, and 
begin the brute struggle for existence once again. 

Any one who is acquainted with the state of 
the population of all great industrial centres, 


whether in this or other countries, is aware that, 
amidst a large and increasing body of that popu 
lation, la mistre reigns supreme. I have no 
pretensions to the character of a philanthropist, 
and I have a special horror of all sorts of senti 
mental rhetoric ; I am merely trying to deal with 
facts, to some extent within my own knowledge, 
and further evidenced by abundant testimony, as 
a naturalist ; and I take it to be a mere plain 
truth that, throughout industrial Europe, there is 
not a single large manufacturing city which is 
free from a vast mass of people whose condition 
is exactly that described ; and from a still greater 
mass who, living just on the edge of the social 
swamp, are liable to be precipitated into it by any 
lack of demand for their produce. And, with 
every addition to the population, the multitude 
already sunk in the pit and the number of the 
host sliding towards it continually increase. 

Argumentation can hardly be needful to make 
it clear that no society in which the elements of 
decomposition are thus swiftly and surely accumu 
lating can hope to win in the race of industries. 

Intelligence, knowledge, and skill are undoubt 
edly conditions of success ; but of what avail are 
they likely to be unless they are backed up by 
honesty, energy, goodwill, and all the physical and 
moral faculties that go to the making of manhood, 
and unless they are stimulated by hope of such 
reward as men may fairly look to ? And what 


dweller in the slough of want, dwarfed in body 
and soul, demoralized, hopeless, can reasonably be 
expected to possess these qualities ? 

Any full and permanent development of the 
productive powers of an industrial population, 
then, must be compatible with and, indeed, based 
upon a social organization which will secure a fair 
amount of physical arid moral welfare to that popu 
lation ; which will make for good and not for evil. 
Natural science and religious enthusiasm rarely 
go hand in hand, but on this matter their concord 
is complete ; and the least sympathetic of natural 
ists can but admire the insight and the devotion 
of such social reformers as the late Lord 
Shaftesbury, whose recently published " Life and 
Letters " gives a vivid picture of the condition of 
the working classes fifty years ago, and of the pit 
which our industry, ignoring these plain truths, 
was then digging under its own feet. 

There is, perhaps, no more hopeful sign of 
progress among us, in the last half-century, than 
the steadily increasing devotion which has been 
and is directed to measures for promoting physical 
and moral welfare among the poorer classes. 
Sanitary reformers, like most other reformers 
whom I have had the advantage of knowing, seem 
to need a good dose of fanaticism, as a sort of 
moral coca, to keep them up to the mark, and, 
doubtless, they have made many mistakes ; but 
that the endeavour to improve the condition under 


which our industrial population live, to amend the 
drainage of densely peopled streets, to provide 
baths, washhouses, and gymnasia, to facilitate 
habits of thrift, to furnish some provision for 
instruction and amusement in public libraries and 
the like, is not only desirable from a philanthropic 
point of view, but an essential condition of safe 
industrial development, appears to me to be indis 
putable. It is by such means alone, so far as I 
can see, that we can hope to check the constant 
gravitation of industrial society towards la mi^ r< , 
until the general progress of intelligence arid 
morality leads men to grapple with the sources of 
that tendency. If it is said that the carrying out 
of such arrangements as those indicated must 
enhance the cost of production, and thus handicap 
the producer in the race of competition, I venture, 
in the first place, to doubt the fact ; but if it be 
so, it results that industrial society has to face 
a dilemma, either alternative of which threatens 

On the one hand, a population the labour of which 
is sufficiently remunerated may be physically and 
morally healthy and socially stable, but may fail 
in industrial competition by reason of the deariu-ss 
of its produce. . On the other hand, a population 
the labour of which is insufficiently remunerated 
must become physically and morally unhealthy, and 
socially unstable ; and though it may succeed for 
a while in industrial competition, by reason of the 


cheapness of its produce, it must in the end fall, 
through hideous misery and degradation, to utter 

Well, if these are the only possible alternatives, 
let us for ourselves and our children choose the 
former, and, if need be, starve like men. But I do 
not believe that a stable society made up of 
healthy, vigorous, instructed, and self-ruling people 
would ever incur serious risk of that fate. They 
are not likely to be troubled with many competi 
tors of the same character, just yet ; and they may 
be safely trusted to find ways of holding their 

Assuming that the physical and moral well- 
being and the stable social order, which are the 
indispensable conditions of permanent industrial 
development, are secured, there remains for 
consideration the means of attaining that know 
ledge and skill without which, even then, the 
battle of competition cannot be successfully 
fought. Let us consider how we stand. A vast 
system of elementary education has now been in 
operation among us for sixteen years, and has 
reached all but a very small fraction of the 
population. I do not think that there is any 
room for doubt that, on the whole, it has worked 
well, and that its indirect no less than its direct 
benefits have been immense. But, as might be 
expected, it exhibits the defects of all our 
educational systems fashioned as they were to 


meet the wants of a bygone condition of society. 
There is a widespread and, I think, well-justified 
complaint that it has too much to do with books 
and too little to do with things. I am as little 
disposed as any one can well be to narrow early 
education and to make the primary school a mere 
annexe of the shop. And it is not so much in 
the interests of industry, as in that of breadth of 
culture, that I echo the common complaint against 
the bookish and theoretical character of our 
primary instruction. 

If there were no such things as industrial 
pursuits, a system of education which does 
nothing for the faculties of observation, which 
trains neither the eye nor the hand, and is com 
patible with utter ignorance of the commonest 
natural truths, might still be reasonably regarded 
as strangely imperfect. And when we consider 
that the instruction and training which are 
lacking are exactly those which are of most 
importance for the great mass of our population, 
the fault becomes almost a crime, the more that 
there is no practical difficulty in making good 
these defects. There really is no reason why 
drawing should not be universally taught, and it 
is an admirable training for both eye and hand. 
Artists are born, not made ; but everybody may 
be taught to draw elevations, plans, and sections ; 
and pots and pans are as good, indeed better, 
models for this purpose than the Apollo Belvedere. 


The plant is not expensive ; and there is this 
excellent quality about drawing of the kind 
indicated, that it can be tested almost as easily 
and severely as arithmetic. Such drawings are 
either right or wrong, and if they are wrong the 
pupil can be made to see that they are wrong. 
From the industrial point of view, drawing has 
the further merit that there is hardly any trade 
in which the power of drawing is not of daily and 
hourly utility. In the next place, no good reason, 
except the want of capable teachers, can be 
assigned why elementary notions of science should 
not be an element in general instruction. In 
this case, again, no expensive or elaborate ap 
paratus is necessary. The commonest thing 
a candle, a boy s squirt, a piece of chalk in the 
hands of a teacher who knows his business, may 
be made the starting-points whence children may 
be led into the regions of science as far as their 
capacity permits, with efficient exercise of their 
observational and reasoning faculties on the road. 
If object lessons often prove trivial failures, it is 
not the fault of object lessons, but that of the 
teacher, who has not found out how much the 
power of teaching a little depends on knowing a 
great deal, and that thoroughly; and that he lias 
not made that discovery is not the fault of the 
teachers, but of the detestable system of training 
them which is widely prevalent. 1 

1 Training in the use of simple tools is no doubt very desir- 


As I have said, I do not regard the proposal to 
add these to the present subjects of universal 
instruction as made merely in the interests of 
industry. Elementary science and drawing are 
just as needful at Eton (where I am happy to say 
both are now parts of the regular course) as in 
the lowest primary school. But their importance 
in the education of the artisan is enhanced, not 
merely by the fact that the knowledge and skill 
thus gained little as they may amount to will 
still be of practical utility to him ; but, further, 
because they constitute an introduction to that 
special training which is commonly called " tech 
nical education." 

I conceive that our wants in this last direction 
may be grouped under three heads: (1) In 
struction in the principles of those branches of 
science and of art which are peculiarly applicable 
to industrial pursuits, which may be called 
preliminary scientific education. (2) Instruction 
in the special branches of such applied science 
and art, as technical education proper. (3) 
Instruction of teachers in both these branches. 
(4) Capacity-catching machinery. 

A great deal has already been done in each of 
these directions, but much remains to be done. 

able, on all grounds. From the point of view of "culture," the 
man whose "fingers are all thumbs" is but a stunted creature. 
But the practical difficulties in the way of introducing handi 
work of this kind into elementary schools appear to me to be 


If elementary education is amended in the way 
that has been suggested, I think that the school- 
hoards will have quite as much on their hands as 
they are capable of doing well. The influences 
under which the members of these bodies are 
elected do not tend to secure fitness for dealing 
with scientific or technical education ; and it is 
the less necessary to burden them with an un 
congenial task, as there are other organizations, 
not only much better fitted to do the work, but 
already actually doing it. 

In the matter of preliminary scientific educa 
tion, the chief of these is the Science and Art 
Department, which has done more during the 
last quarter of a century for the teaching of ele 
mentary science among the masses of the people 
than any organization which exists either in this 
or in any other country. It has become veritably 
a people s university, so far as physical science is 
concerned. At the foundation of our old uni 
versities they were freely open to the poorest, but 
the poorest must come to them. In the last 
quarter of a century, the Science and Art Depart 
ment, by means of its classes spread all over the 
country and open to all, has conveyed instruction 
to the poorest. The University Extension move 
ment shows that our older learned corporations 
have discovered the propriety of following suit. 

Technical education, in the strict sense, has 
become a necessity for two reasons. The old 


apprenticeship system has broken down, partly 
by reason of the changed conditions of industrial 
life, and partly because trades have ceased to 
be "crafts," the traditional secrets whereof the 
master handed down to his apprentices. Inven 
tion is constantly changing the face of our 
industries, so that " use and wont," " rule of 
thumb," and the like, are gradually losing their 
importance, while that knowledge of principles 
which alone can deal successfully with changed 
conditions is becoming more and more valuable. 
Socially, the " master " of four or five apprentices 
is disappearing in favour of the " employer " 
of forty, or four hundred, or four thousand, 
" hands," and the odds and ends of technical 
knowledge, formerly picked up in a shop, are 
not, and cannot be, supplied in the factory. The 
instruction formerly given by the master must 
therefore be more than replaced by the systematic 
teaching of the technical school. 

Institutions of this kind on varying scales of 
magnitude and completeness, from the splendid 
edifice set up by the City and Guilds Institute to 
the smallest local technical school, to say nothing 
of classes, such as those in technology instituted 
by the Society of Arts (subsequently taken over 
by the City Guilds), have been established in 
various parts of the country, and the movement 
in favour of their increase and multiplication is 
rapidly growing in breadth and intensity. But 


there is much difference of opinion as to the best 
way in which the technical instruction, so generally 
desired, should be given. Two courses appear 
to be practicable : the one is the establishment of 
special technical schools with a systematic and 
lengthened course of instruction demanding the 
employment of the whole time of the pupils. The 
other is the setting afoot of technical classes, 
especially evening classes, comprising a short 
series of lessons on some special topic, which may 
be attended by persons already earning wages in 
some branch of trade or commerce. 

There is no doubt that technical schools, on 
the plan indicated under the first head, are 
extremely costly; and, so far as the teaching of 
artizans is concerned, it is very commonly obj eel < <1 
to them that, as the learners do not work under 
trade conditions, they are apt to fall into ama 
teurish habits, which prove of more hindrance 
than service in the actual business of life. When 
such schools are attached to factories under the 
direction of an employer who desires to train up 
a supply of intelligent workmen, of course this 
objection does not apply ; nor can the usefulness 
of such schools for the training of future em 
ployers and for the higher grade of the employed 
be doubtful ; but they are clearly out of the 
reach of the great mass of the people, who have 
to earn their bread as soon as possible. We must 
therefore look to the classes, and especially to 



evening classes, as the great instrument for the 
technical education of the artizan. The utility of 
such classes has now been placed beyond all 
doubt ; the only question which remains is to 
find the ways and means of extending them. 

We are here, as in all other questions of social 
organization, met by two diametrically opposed 
views. On the one hand, the methods pursued 
in foreign countries are held up as our example. 
The state is exhorted to take the matter in hand, 
and establish a great system of technical educa 
tion. On the other hand, many economists of 
the individualist school exhaust the resources of 
language in condemning and repudiating, not 
merely the interference of the general government 
in such matters, but the application of a farthing 
of the funds raised by local taxation to these 
purposes. I entertain a strong conviction that, 
in this country, at any rate, the State had much 
better leave purely technical and trade instruction 
alone. But, although my personal leanings are 
decidedly towards the individualists, I have ar 
rived at that conclusion on merely practical 
grounds. In fact, my individualism is rather of a 
sentimental sort, and I sometimes think I should 
be stronger in the faith if it were less vehemently 
advocated. 1 I am unable to see that civil society 

1 In what follows I am only repeating and emphasizing 
opinions which I expressed seventeen years ago, in an Address 
to the members of the Midland Institute (republished in Critiques 
and Addresses in 1873, and in Vol. i. of these Essays}. I have 


is anything but a corporation established for a 
moral object namely, the good of its members 
and therefore that it may take such measures as 
seem fitting for the attainment of that which the 
general voice decides to be the general good. 
That the suffrage of the majority is by no means 
a scientific test of social good and evil is un 
fortunately too true ; but, in practice, it is the 
only test we can apply, and the refusal to abide 
by it means anarchy. The purest despotism that 
ever existed is as much based upon that will of 
the majority (which is usually submission to the 
will of a small minority) as the freest republic. 
Law is the expression of the opinion of the 
majority ; and it is law, and not mere opinion, 
because the many are strong enough to enforce 

I am as strongly convinced as the most pro 
nounced individualist can be, that it is desirable 
that every man should be free to act in every way 
which does not limit the corresponding freedom 
of his fellow-man. But I fail to connect that 
great induction of political science with the 
practical corollary which is frequently drawn from 
it : that the State that is, the people in their 
corporate capacity has no business to meddle 
with anything but the administration of justice 
and external defence. It appears to me that the 

seen no reason to modify them, notwithstanding high authority 
on the other side. 

Q 2 


amount of freedom which incorporate society may 
fitly leave to its members is not a fixed quantity, 
to be determined a priori by deduction from the 
fiction called " natural rights " ; but that it must 
be determined by, and vary with, circumstances. 
I conceive it to be demonstrable that the higher 
and the more complex the organization of the 
social body, the more closely is the life of each 
member bound up with that of the whole ; and 
the larger becomes the category of acts which 
cease to be merely self-regarding, and which in 
terfere with the freedom of others more or less 

If a squatter, living ten miles away from any 
neighbour, chooses to burn his house down to get 
rid of vermin, there may be no necessity (in the 
absence of insurance offices) that the law should 
interfere with his freedom of action ; his act can 
hurt nobody but himself. But, if the dweller in 
a street chooses to do the same thing, the State 
very properly makes such a proceeding a crime, 
and punishes it as such. He does meddle with 
his neighbour s freedom, and that seriously. So 
it might, perhaps, be a tenable doctrine, that it 
would be needless, and even tyrannous, to make 
education compulsory in a sparse agricultural 
population, living in abundance on the produce of 
its own soil ; but, in a densely populated manu 
facturing country, struggling for existence with 
competitors, every ignorant person tends to 


become a burden upon, and, so far, an infringer of 
the liberty of, his fellows, and an obstacle to their 
success. Under such circumstances an education 
rate is, in fact, a war tax, levied for purposes of 

That State action always has been more or less 
misdirected, and always will be so, is, I believe, 
perfectly true. But I am not aware that it is 
more true of the action of men in their corporate 
capacity than it is of the doings of individuals. 
The wisest and most dispassionate man in exist 
ence, merely wishing to go from one stile in a, 
field to the opposite, will not walk quite straight 
he is always going a little wrong, and always 
correcting himself; and I can only congratulate 
the individualist who is able to say that his 
general course of life has been of a less undula- 
tory character. To abolish State action, because 
its direction is never more than approximately 
correct, appears to me to be much the same thing 
as abolishing the man at the wheel altogether, 
because, do what he will, the ship yaws more or 
less. " Why should I be robbed of my property 
to pay for teaching another man s children ? " is an 
individualist question, which is not unfrequently 
put as if it settled the whole business. Perhaps 
it does, but I find difficulties in seeing why it 
should. The parish in which I live makes me 
pay my share for the paving and lighting of a 
great many streets that I never pass through; 


and I might plead that I am robbed to smooth the 
way and lighten the darkness of other people. 
But I am afraid the parochial authorities would 
not let me off on this plea ; and I must confess I 
do not see why they should. 

I cannot speak of my own knowledge, but I 
have every reason to believe that I came into this 
world a small reddish person, certainly without a 
gold spoon in my mouth, and in fact with no dis 
cernible abstract or concrete " rights " or property 
of any description. If a foot was not set upon me, 
at once, as a squalling nuisance, it was either the 
natural affection of those about me, which I cer 
tainly had done nothing to deserve, or the fear of 
the law which, ages before my birth, was painfully 
built up by the society into which I intruded, that 
prevented that catastrophe. If I was nourished, 
cared for, taught, saved from the vagabondage of 
a wastrel, I certainly am not aware that I did 
anything to deserve those advantages. And, if I 
possess anything now, it strikes me that, though I 
may have fairly earned my day s wages for my 
day s work, and may justly call them my property 
yet, without that organization of society, created 
out of the toil and blood of long generations before 
my time, I should probably have had nothing but 
a flint axe and an indifferent hut to call my own ; 
and even those would be mine only so long as no 
stronger savage came my way. 

So that if society, having, quite gratuitously, 


done all these things for me, asks me in turn to 
do something towards its preservation even if 
that something is to contribute to the teaching of 
other men s children I really, in spite of all my 
individualist leanings, feel rather ashamed to 
say no. And if I were not ashamed, I cannot say 
that I think that society would be dealing un 
justly with me in converting the moral obligation 
into a legal one. There is a manifest unfairness 
in letting all the burden be borne by the willing 

It does not appear to me, then, that there is 
any valid objection to taxation for purposes of 
education ; but, in the case of technical schools 
and classes, I think it is practically expedient 
that such a taxation should be local. Our in 
dustrial population accumulates in particular 
towns and districts ; these districts are those 
which immediately profit by technical education ; 
and it is only in them that we can find the men 
practically engaged in industries, among whom 
some may reasonably be expected to be competent 
judges of that which is wanted, and of the best 
means of meeting the want. 

In my belief, all methods of technical training 
are at present tentative, and, to be successful, 
each must be adapted to the special peculiarities 
of its locality. This is a case in which we want 
twenty years, not of " strong government," but of 
cheerful and hopeful blundering ; and we may be 


thankful if we get things straight in that 

The principle of the Bill introduced, but dropped, 
by the Government last session, appears to me to 
be wise, and some of the objections to it I think 
are due to a misunderstanding. The Bill pro 
posed in substance to allow localities to tax them 
selves for purposes of technical education on the 
condition that any scheme for such purpose should 
be submitted to the Science and Art Department, 
and declared by that department to be in accord 
ance with the intention of the Legislature. 

A cry was raised that the Bill proposed to throw 
technical education into the hands of the Science 
and Art Department. But, in reality, no power 
of initiation, nor even of meddling with details, 
was given to that Department the sole function 
of which was to decide whether any plan proposed 
did or did not come within the limits of " tech 
nical education." The necessity for such control, 
somewhere, is obvious. No legislature, certainly 
not ours, is likely to grant the power of self-taxa 
tion without setting limits to that power in some 
way ; and it would neither have been practicable 
to devise a legal definition of technical education, 
nor commendable to leave the question to the 
Auditor-General, to be fought out in the law-courts. 
The only alternative was to leave the decision to 
an appropriate State authority. If it is asked, 
what is the need of such control if the people of 


the localities are the best judges, the obvious 
reply is that there are localities and localities, 
and that while Manchester, or Liverpool, or 
Birmingham, or Glasgow might, perhaps, be 
safely left to do as they thought fit, smaller towns, 
in which there is less certainty of full discussion 
by competent people of different ways of thinking, 
might easily fall a prey to crotcheteers. 

Supposing our intermediate science teaching 
and our technical schools and classes are estab 
lished, there is yet a third need to be supplied, 
and that is the want of good teachers. And it is 
necessary not only to get them, but to keep them 
when you have got them. 

It is impossible to insist too strongly upon the 
fact that efficient teachers of science and of tech 
nology are not to be made by the processes in 
vogue at ordinary training colleges. The memory 
loaded with mere bookwork is not the thing 
wanted is, in fact, rather worse than useless in 
the teacher of scientific subjects. It is absolutely 
essential that his mind should be full of know 
ledge and not of mere learning, and that what he 
knows should have been learned in the laboratory 
rather than in the library. There are happily 
already, both in London and in the provinces, 
various places in which such training is to be had, 
and the main thing at present is to make it in the 
first place accessible, and in the next indispensable, 
to those who undertake the business of teaching. 


But when the well-trained men are supplied, it 
must be recollected that the profession of teacher 
is not a very lucrative or otherwise tempting one, 
and that it may be advisable to offer special in 
ducements to good men to remain in it. These, 
however, are questions of detail into which it is 
unnecessary to enter further. 

Last, but not least, comes the question of pro 
viding the machinery for enabling those who are 
by nature specially qualified to undertake the 
higher branches of industrial work, to reach the 
position in which they may render that service to 
the community. If all our educational expendi 
ture did nothing but pick one man of scientific 
or inventive genius, each year, from amidst the 
hewers of wood and drawers of water, and give 
him the chance of making the best of his inborn 
faculties, it would be a very good investment. If 
there is one such child among the hundreds of 
thousands of our annual increase, it would be 
worth any money to drag him either from the 
slough of misery, or from the hotbed of wealth, 
and teach him to devote himself to the service of 
his people. Here, again, we have made a begin 
ning with our scholarships and the like, and 
need only follow in the tracks already worn. 

The programme of industrial development 
briefly set forth in the preceding pages is not 
what Kant calls a " Hirngespinnst," a cobweb 
spun in the brain of a Utopian philosopher. More 


or less of it has taken bodily shape in many parts 
of the country, and there are towns of no great 
size or wealth in the manufacturing districts 
(Keighley, for example) in which almost the whole 
of it has, for some time, been carried out, so far as 
the means at the disposal of the energetic and 
public-spirited men who have taken the matter 
in hand permitted. The thing can be done ; 
I have endeavoured to show good grounds for the 
belief that it must be done, and that speedily, 
if we wish to hold our own in the war of indus 
try. I doubt not that it will be done, whenever 
its absolute necessity becomes as apparent to all 
those who are absorbed in the actual business of 
industrial life as it is to some of the lookers on. 

[Perhaps it is necessary for me to add that 
technical education is not here proposed as a 
panacea for social diseases, but simply as a 
medicament which will help the patient to pass 
through an imminent crisis. 

An ophthalmic surgeon may recommend an 
operation for cataract in a man who is going blind, 
without being supposed to undertake that it will 
cure him of gout. And I may pursue the 
metaphor so far as to remark, that the surgeon 
is justified in pointing out that a diet of pork-chops 
and burgundy will probably kill his patient, 
though he may be quite unable to suggest a mode 


of living which will free him from his constitu 
tional disorder. 

Mr. Booth asks me, Why do you not propose 
some plan of your own ? Really, that is no answer 
to my argument that his treatment will make the 
patient very much worse. [Note added in Social 
Diseases and Worse Remedies, January, 1891.] 




The " Tim.cs" December 1st, 1890 

Sm, A short time ago a generous and philan 
thropic friend wrote to me, placing at my disposal 
a large sum of money for the furtherance of the 
vast scheme which the " General " of the Salvation 
Army has propounded, if I thought it worthy of 
support. The responsibility of advising my bene 
volent correspondent has weighed heavily upon 
me, but I felt that it would be cowardly, as well 
as ungracious, to refuse to accept it. I have 
therefore studied Mr. Booth s book with some care, 
for the purpose of separating the essential from 
the accessory features of his project, and I have 
based my judgment I am sorry to say an un 
favourable one upon the data thus obtained. 
Before communicating my conclusions to my 
friend, however, I am desirous to know what 
there may be to be said in arrest of that judg- 


ment ; and the matter is of such vast public 
importance that I trust you will aid me by publish 
ing this letter, notwithstanding its length. 

There are one or two points upon which I 
imagine all thinking men have arrived at. the 
same convictions as those from which Mr. Booth 
starts. It is certain that there is an immense 
amount of remediable misery among us ; that, in 
addition to the poverty, disease, and degradation 
which are the consequences of causes beyond 
human control, there is a vast, probably a very 
much larger, quantity of misery which is the 
result of individual ignorance, or misconduct, and 
of faulty social arrangements. Further, I think 
it is not to be doubted that, unless this remediable 
misery is effectually dealt with, the hordes of vice 
and pauperism will destroy modern civilization as 
effectually as uncivilized tribes of another kind 
destroyed the great social organization which 
preceded ours. Moreover, I think all will agree 
that no reforms and improvements will go to the 
root of the evil unless they attack it in its 
ultimate source namely, the motives of the 
individual man. Honest, industrious, and self- 
restraining men will make a very bad social 
organization prosper ; while vicious, idle, and 
reckless citizens will bring to ruin the best that 
ever was, or ever will be, invented. 

The leading propositions which are peculiar to 
Mr. Booth I take to be these : 


(1) That the only adequate means to such re 
formation of the individual man is the adoption 
of that form of somewhat corybantic Christianity 
of which the soldiers of the Salvation Army are 
the militant missionaries. This implies the 
belief that the excitement of the religious 
emotions (largely by processes described by their 
employers as " rousing " and " convivial ") is a 
desirable and trustworthy method of permanently 
amending the conduct of mankind. 

I demur to these propositions. I am of opinion 
that the testimony of history, no less than the 
cool observation of that which lies within the 
personal experience of many of us, is wholly 
adverse to it. 

(2) That the appropriate instrument for the 
propagation and maintenance of this peculiar 
sacramental enthusiasm is the Salvation Army 
a body of devotees, drilled and disciplined as a 
military organization, and provided with a num 
erous hierarchy of officers, every one of whom is 
pledged to blind and unhesitating obedience to 
the " General," who frankly tells us that the first 
condition of the service is " implicit, unquestion 
ing obedience." " A telegram from me will send 
any of them to the uttermost parts of the earth " ; 
every one " has taken service on the express 
condition that he or she will obey, without 
questioning, or gainsaying, the orders from head 
quarters " (" Darkest England," p. 243). 


This proposition seems to me to be indisputable. 
History confirms it. Francis of Assisi and 
Ignatius Loyola made their great experiments on 
the same principle. Nothing is more certain 
than that a body of religious enthusiasts (perhaps 
we may even say fanatics) pledged to blind 
obedience to their chief, is one of the most 
efficient instruments for effecting any purpose 
that the wit of man has yet succeeded in devising. 
And I can but admire the insight into human 
nature which has led Mr. Booth to leave his 
unquestioning and unhesitating instruments un 
bound by vows. A volunteer slave is worth ten 
sworn bondsmen. 

(3) That the success of the Salvation Army, 
with its present force of 9416 officers " wholly 
engaged in the work," its capital of three quarters 
of a million, its income of the same amount, its 
1375 corps at home, and 1499 in the colonies and 
foreign countries (Appendix, pp. 3 and 4), is a 
proof that Divine assistance has been vouchsafed 
to its efforts. 

Here I am not able to agree with the sanguine 
Commander-in-chief of the new model, whose 
labours in creating it have probably interfered 
with his acquisition of information respecting 
the fate of previous enterprises of like kind. 

It does not appear to me that his success is in 
any degree more remarkable than that of Francis 
of Assisi or that of Ignatius Loyola, than that 


of George Fox, or even than that of the Mormons, 
in our own time. When I observe the discrep 
ancies of the doctrinal foundations from which 
each of these great movements set out, I find it 
difficult to suppose that supernatural aid has been 
given to all of them ; still more, that Mr. Booth s 
smaller measure of success is evidence that it has 
been granted to him. 

But what became of the Franciscan experi 
ment l ? If there was one rule rather than another 
on which the founder laid stress, it was that his 
army of friars should be absolute mendicants, 
keeping themselves sternly apart from all worldly 
entanglements. Yet, even before the death of 
Francis, in 1226, a strong party, headed by Elias 
of Cortona, the deputy of his own appointment, 
began to hanker after these very things ; and, 
within thirty years of that time, the Franciscans 
had become one of the most powerful, wealthy, and 
worldly corporations in Christendom, with their 
fingers in every sink of political and social corrup 
tion, if so be profit for the order could be fished out 
of it ; their principal interest being to fight their 
rivals, the Dominicans, and to persecute such of 
their own brethren as were honest enough to try 
to carry out their founder s plainest injunctions. 
We also know what has become of Loyola s ex 
periment. For two centuries the Jesuits have 
been the hope of the enemies of the Papacy ; 

1 See note pp. 245-47. 
VOL. IX 11 


whenever it becomes too prosperous, they are 
sure to bring about a catastrophe by their corrupt 
use of the political and social influence which 
their organization and their wealth secure. 

With these examples of that which may happen 
to institutions founded by noble men, with high 
aims, in the hands of successors of a different 
stamp, armed with despotic authority, before me, 
common prudence surely requires that, before ad 
vising the handing over of a large sum of money 
to the general of a new order of mendicants, I 
should ask what guarantee there is that, thirty 
years hence, the " General " who then autocrati 
cally controls the action, say, .of 100,000 officers 
pledged to blind obedience, distributed through 
the whole length and breadth of the poorer 
classes, and each with his finger on the trigger of 
a mine charged with discontent and religious 
fanaticism ; with the absolute control, say, of 
eight or ten millions sterling of capital and as 
many of income ; with barracks in every town, 
with estates scattered over the country, and with 
settlements in the colonies will exercise his 
enormous powers, not merely honestly, but wisely ? 
What shadow of security is there that the person 
who wields this uncontrolled authority over many 
thousands of men shall use it solely for those 
philanthropic and religious objects which, I do not 
doubt, are alone in the mind of Mr. Booth ? Who 
is to say that the Salvation Army, in the year 


1920, shall not be a replica of what the Franciscan 
order had become in the year 1260 ? 

The personal character and the intentions of 
the founders of such organizations as we are 
considering count for very little in the formation 
of a forecast of their future ; and if they did, it is 
no disrespect to Mr. Booth to say that he is not 
the peer of Francis of Assisi. But if Francis s 
judgment of men was so imperfect as to permit 
him to appoint an ambitious intriguer of the 
stamp of Brother Elias his deputy, we have no 
right to be sanguine about the perspicacity of Mr. 
Booth in a like matter. 

Adding to all these considerations the fact that 
Mr. Llewelyn Davies, the warmth of whose 
philanthropy is beyond question, and in whose 
competency and fairness I, for one, place implicit 
reliance, flatly denies the boasted success of the 
Salvation Army in its professed mission, I have 
arrived at the conclusion that, as at present 
advised, I cannot be the instrument of carrying 
out my friend s proposal. 

Mr. Booth has pithily characterised certain 
benevolent schemes as doing sixpennyworth of 
good and a shilling s worth of harm. I grieve to 
say that, in my opinion, the definition exactly fits 
his own project. Few social evils are of greater 
magnitude than uninstructed and unchastened 
religious fanaticism; no personal habit more 
surely degrades the conscience and the intellect 

R 2 


than blind and unhesitating obedience to un 
limited authority. Undoubtedly, harlotry and 
intemperance are sore evils, and starvation is 
hard to bear, or even to know of; but the 
prostitution of the mind, the soddening of the 
conscience, the dwarfing of manhood are worse 
calamities. It is a greater evil to have the 
intellect of a nation put down by organised 
fanaticism ; to see its political and industrial 
affairs at the mercy of a despot whose chief 
thought is to make that fanaticism prevail ; to 
watch the degradation of men, who should led 
themselves individually responsible for their own 
and their country s fates, to mere brute instru 
ments, ready to the hand of a master for any use 
to which he may put them. 

But that is the end to which, in my opinion, 
all such organizations as that to which kindly 
people, who do not look to the consequences of 
their acts, are now giving their thousands, in 
evitably tend. Unless clear proof that I am 
wrong is furnished, another thousand shall not 
be added by my instrumentality. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 




An authoritative contemporary historian, Matthew 
Paris, writes thus of the Minorite, or Franciscan, 
Friars in England in 1235, just nine years after the 
death of Francis of Assisi : 

" At this time some of the Minorite brethren, as 
well as some of the Order of Preachers, unmindful of 
their profession and the restrictions of their order, 
impudently entered the territories of some noble 
monasteries, under pretence of fulfilling their duties 
of preaching, as if intending to depart after preaching 
the next day. Under pretence of sickness, or on 
some other pretext, however, they remained, and, 
constructing an altar of wood, they placed on it a 
consecrated stone altar, which they had brought with 
them, and clandestinely and in a low voice performed 
mass, and even received the confessions of many of 
the parishioners, to the prejudice of the priests. . . . 
And if by chance they were not satisfied with this, 
they broke forth in insults and threats, reviling every 
other order except their own, and asserting that all 
the rest were doomed to damnation, and that they 
would not spare the soles of their feet till they had 
exhausted the wealth of their opposers, however great 
it might be. The religious men, therefore, gave way 
to them in many points, yielding to avoid scandal, 
and offending those in power. For they were the 
councillors and messengers of the nobles, and even 
secretaries of the Pope, and therefore obtained much 


secular favour. Some, however, finding themselves 
opposed at the Court of Rome, were restrained by 
obvious reasons, and went away in confusion ; for the 
Supreme Pontiff, with a scowling look, said to them, 
* What means this, my brethren ? To what lengths 
are you going ? Have you not professed voluntary 
poverty, and that you would traverse towns and 
castles and distant places, as the case required, bare 
footed and unostentatiously in order to preach the 
word of God in all humility 1 ? And do you now 
presume to usurp these estates to yourselves against 
the will of the lords of these fees 1 Your religion 
appears to be in a great measure dying away, and 
your doctrines to be confuted. 

Under date of 1243, Matthew writes : 
" For three or four hundred years or more the 
monastic order did not hasten to destruction so 
quickly as their order [Minorites and Preachers] of 
whom now the brothers, twenty-four years having 
scarcely elapsed, had first built in England dwellings 
which rivalled regal palaces in height. These are 
they who daily expose to view their inestimable 
treasures, in enlarging their sumptuous edifices, and 
erecting lofty walls, thereby impudently transgressing 
the limits of their original poverty and violating the 
basis of their religion, according to the prophecy of 
German Hildegarde. When noblemen and rich men 
are at the point of death, whom they know to be 
possessed of great riches, they, in their love of gain, 
diligently urge them, to the injury and loss of the 
ordinary pastors, and extort confessions and hidden 
wills, lauding themselves and their own order only, 


and placing themselves before all others. So no 
faithful man now believes he can be saved, except he 
is directed by the counsels of the Preachers and 
Minorites." - MATTHEW PARIS S English History, 
Translated by the Rev. J. A. GILES, 1889, Vol. I. 


The " Times" December 9M, 1800 

SIR, The purpose of my previous letter about 
Mr. Booth s scheme was to arouse the contributors 
to the military chest of the Salvation Army to a 
clear sense of what they are doing. I thought 
it desirable that they should be distinctly aware 
that they are setting up and endowing a sect, in 
many ways analogous to the " Ranters " and 
" Revivalists " of undesirable notoriety in former 
times ; but with this immensely important differ 
ence , that it possesses a strong, far-reaching, 
centralized organization, the disposal of the physi 
cal, moral, and financial strength of which rests 
with an irresponsible chief, who, according to his 
own account, is assured of the blind obedience of 
nearly 10,000 subordinates. I wish them to ask 
themselves, Ought prudent men and good citizens 
to aid in the establishment of an organization 
which, under sundry, by no means improbable, 
contingencies, may easily become a worse and 


more dangerous nuisance than the mendicant 
friars of the middle ages ? If this is an academic 
question, I really do not know what questions 
deserve to be called practical. As you divined, I 
purposely omitted any consideration of the details 
of the Salvationist scheme, and of the principles 
which animate those who work it, because I 
desired that the public appreciation of the evils, 
necessarily inherent in all such plans of despotic 
social and religious regimentation should not be 
obscured by the raising of points of less compara 
tive, however great absolute, importance. 

But it is now time to undertake a more par 
ticular criticism of " Darkest England." At the 
outset of my examination of that work, I was 
startled to find that Mr. Booth had put forward his 
scheme with an almost incredibly imperfect know 
ledge of what had been done and is doing in the 
same direction. A simple reader might well imagine 
that the author of "Darkest England" posed as 
the Columbus, or at any rate the Cortez, of that 
region. " Go to Mudie s," he tells us, and you 
will be surprised to see how few books there are 
upon the social problem. That may or may not 
be correct ; but if Mr. Booth had gone to a cer 
tain reading-room not far from Mudie s, I under 
take to say that the well-informed and obliging 
staff of the national library in Bloomsbury would 
have provided him with more books on this topic, 
in almost all European languages, than he would 


read in three months. Has socialism no litera 
ture ? And what is socialism but an incarnation 
of the social question ? Moreover, I am per 
suaded that even " Mudie s " resources could have 
furnished Mr. Booth with the " Life of Lord 
Shaftesbury " and Carlyle s works. Mr. Booth 
seems to have undertaken to instruct the world 
without having heard of " Past and Present " or of 
" Latter-Day Pamphlets " ; though, somewhat late 
in the day, a judicious friend calls his attention 
to them. To those of my contemporaries on whom, 
as on myself, Carlyle s writings on this topic made 
an ineffaceable impression forty years ago, who 
know that, for all that time, hundreds of able 
and devoted men, both clerical and lay, have 
worked heart and soul for the permanent amend 
ment of the condition of the poor, Mr. Booth s 
"Go to Mudie s" affords an apt measure of the depth 
of his preliminary studies. However, I am bound 
to admit that these earlier labourers in the field 
laboured in such a different fashion, that the origin 
ality of the plan started by Mr. Booth remains 
largely unaffected. For them no drums have beat, 
no trombones brayed; no sanctified buffoonery, after 
the model of the oration of the Friar in Wallen- 
stein s camp dear to the readers of Schiller, has 
tickled the ears of the groundlings on their behalf. 
Sadly behind the great age of rowdy self-adver 
tisement in which their lot has fallen, they seem 
not to have advanced one whit beyond John the 


Baptist and the Apostles, 1800 years ago, in their 
notions of the way in which the metanoia, the 
change of mind of the ill-doer, is to be brought 
about. Yet the new model was there, ready for 
the imitation of those ancient savers of souls. 
The ranting and roaring mystagogues of some of 
the most venerable of Greek and Syrian cults also 
had their processions and banners, their fifes and 
cymbals and holy chants, their hierarchy of officers 
to whom the art of making collections was not 
wholly unknown ; and who, as freely as their 
modern imitators, promised an Elysian future to 
contributory converts. The success of these 
antique Salvation armies was enormous. Simon 
Magus was quite as notorious a personage, and 
probably had as strong a following as Mr. Booth. 
Yet the Apostles, with their old-fashioned ways, 
would not accept such a success as a satisfactory 
sign of the Divine sanction, nor depart from their 
own methods of leading the way to the higher life. 
I deem it unessential to verify Mr. Booth s 
statistics. The exact strength of the population 
of the realm of misery, be it one, two, or three 
millions, has nothing to do with the efficacy of 
any means proposed for the highly desirable end 
of reducing it to a minimum. The sole question 
for consideration at present is whether the scheme, 
keeping specially in view the spirit in which it 
is to be worked, is likely to do more good than 


Mr. Booth tells us, with commendable frankness, 
that " it is primarily and mainly for the sake of 
saving the soul that I seek the salvation of the 
body " (p. 45), which language, being interpreted, 
means that the propagation of the special 
Salvationist creed comes first, and the promotion 
of the physical, intellectual, and purely moral 
welfare of mankind second in his estimation. 
Men are to be made sober and industrious, 
mainly, that, as washed, shorn, and docile sheep, 
they may be driven into the narrow theological 
fold which Mr. Booth patronises. If they refuse 
to enter, for all their moral cleanliness, they will 
have to take their place among the goats as 
sinners, only less dirty than the rest. 

I have been in the habit of thinking (and I 
believe the opinion is largely shared by reasonable 
men) that self-respect and thrift are the rungs of 
the ladder by which men may most surely climb 
out of the slough of despond of want ; and I have 
regarded them as perhaps the most eminent of 
the practical virtues. That is not Mr. Booth s 
opinion. For him they are mere varnished sins 
nothing better than " Pride re-baptised " (p. 
46). Shutting his eyes to the necessary con 
sequences of the struggle for life, the existence of 
which he accepts as fully as any Darwinian, 1 Mr. 
Booth tells men, whose evil case is one of those 
consequences, that envy is a corner-stone of our 
1 See p. 100. 


competitive system. With thrift and self-respect 
denounced as sin, with the suffering of starving 
men referred to the sins of the capitalist, the 
gospel according to Mr. Booth may save souls, 
but it will hardly save society. 

In estimating the social and political influence 
which the Salvation Army is likely to exert, it 
is important to reflect that the officers (pledged 
to blind obedience to their " General ") are not 
to confine themselves to the functions of mere 
deacons and catechists (though, under a " General " 
like Cyril, Alexandria knew to her cost what 
even they could effect) ; they are to be " tribunes 
of the people," who are to act as their gratuitous 
legal advisers ; and, when law is not sufficiently 
effective, the whole force of the army is to obtain 
what the said tribunes may conceive to be justice, 
by the practice of ruthless intimidation. Society, 
says Mr. Booth, needs " mothering " ; and he sets 
forth, with much complacency, a variety of 
" cases," by which we may estimate the sort of 
" mothering " to be expected at his parental 
hands. Those who study the materials thus set 
before them will, I think, be driven to the con 
clusion that the "mother" has already proved 
herself a most unscrupulous meddler, even if 
she has not fallen within reach of the arm of 
the law. 

Consider this " case." A, asserting herself to 
have been seduced twice, " applied to our people. 


We hunted up the man, followed him to the 
country, threatened him with public exposure, 
and forced from him the payment to his victim 
of 60 down, an allowance of 1 a week, and an 
insurance policy on his life for 450 in her favour " 
(p. 222). 

Jedburgh justice this. " We " constitute our 
selves prosecutor, judge, jury, sheriff s officer, till 
in one ; " we " practise intimidation as deftly as 
if we were a branch of another League ; and, 
under threat of exposure, " we " extort a tolerably 
heavy hush-money in payment of our silence. 

Well, really, my poor moral sense is unable to 
distinguish these remarkable proceedings of the 
new popular tribunate from what, in French, is 
called chantaye and, in plain English, blackmail 
ing And when we consider that anybody, for 
any reason of jealousy, or personal spite, or party 
hatred, might be thus "hunted," "followed," 
" threatened," and financially squeezed or ruined, 
without a particle of legal investigation, at the 
will of a man whom the familiar charged with 
the inquisitorial business dare not hesitate to 
obey, surely it is not unreasonable to ask how far 
does the Salvation Army, in its " tribune of the 
people " aspect, differ from a Sicilian Mafia ? I 
am no apologist of men guilty of the acts charged 
against the person who yet, I think, might be as 
fairly called a " victim," in this case, as his partner 
in wrong-doing. It is possible that, in so peculiar 


a case, Solomon himself might have been puzzled 
to apportion the relative moral delinquency of 
the parties. However that may be, the man was 
morally and legally bound to support his child, 
and any one would have been justified in helping 
the woman to her legal rights, and the man to 
the legal consequences (in which exposure is 
included) of his fault. 

The action of the " General " of the Salvation 
Army in extorting the heavy fine he chose to 
impose as the price of his silence, however 
excellent his motives, appears to me to be as 
immoral as, I hope, it is illegal. 

So much for the Salvation Army as a teacher 
of questionable ethics and of eccentric economics, 
as the legal adviser who recommends and practises 
the extraction of money by intimidation, as the 
fairy godmother who proposes to " mother " 
society, in a fashion which is not to my taste, 
however much it may commend itself to some of 
Mr. Booth s supporters. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 




The " Times," December 11th, 1890 

SIR, When I first addressed you on the 
subject of the projected operations of the 
Salvation Army, all that I knew about that body 
was derived from the study of Mr. Booth s book, 
from common repute, and from occasional atten 
tion to the sayings and doings of his noisy 
squadrons, with which my walks about London, 
in past years, have made me familiar. I was 
quite unaware of the existence of evidence re 
specting the present administration of the Salva 
tion forces, which would have enabled me to act 
upon the sagacious maxim of the American 
humourist, " Don t prophesy unless you know." 
The letter you were good enough to publish has 
brought upon me a swarm of letters and pam 
phlets. Some favour me with abuse ; some 
thoughtful correspondents warmly agree with me, 
and then proceed to point out how much worth un 
certain schemes of their own are of my friend s 
support ; some send valuable encouragement, for 
which I offer my hearty thanks, and ask them to 
excuse any more special acknowledgment. But 
that which I find most to the purpose, just now, is 
the revelation made by some of the documents 
which have reached me, of a fact of which I was 


wholly ignorant namely, that persons who have 
faithfully and zealously served in the Salvation 
Army, who express unchanged attachment to its 
original principles and practice, and who have 
been in close official relations with the " General," 
have publicly declared that the process of de 
gradation of the organization into a mere engine 
of fanatical intolerance and personal ambition, 
which I declared was inevitable, has already set 
in and is making rapid progress. 

It is out of the question, Sir, that I should 
occupy the columns of the " Times " with a de 
tailed exposition and criticism of these ^//o,s 
j ustificativcs of my forecast. I say criticism, be 
cause the assertions of persons who have quitted 
any society must, in fairness, be taken with the 
caution that is required in the case of all ex parte 
statements of hostile witnesses. But it is, at any 
rate, a notable fact that there are parts of my 
first letter, indicating the inherent and necessary 
evil consequences of any such organization, 
which might serve for abstracts of portions of this 
evidence, long since printed and published under 
the public responsibility of the witnesses. 

Let us ask the attention of your readers, in the 
first place, to " An ex-Captain s Experience of the 
Salvation Army," by J. J. R. Redstone, the 
genuineness of which is guaranteed by the preface 
(dated April 5th, 1888) which the Rev. Dr. 
Cunningham Geikie has supplied. Mr. Redstone s 


story is well worth reading on its own account. 
Told in simple, direct language such as John 
Bunyan might have used, it permits no doubt 
of the single-minded sincerity of the man, who 
gave up everything to become an officer of the 
Salvation Army, but, exhibiting a sad want of 
that capacity for unhesitating and blind obedience 
on which Mr. Booth lays so much stress, was 
thrown aside, penniless no, I am wrong, with 
2s. 4<d. for his last week s salary to shift, with his 
equally devoted wife, as he best might. I wish 
I could induce intending contributors to Mr. 
Booth s army chest to read Mr. Redstone s story. 
I would particularly ask them to contrast the 
pure simplicity of his plain tale with the artificial 
pietism and slobbering unction of the letters 
which Mr. Ballington Booth addresses to his 
" dear boy " (a married man apparently older than 
himself), so long as the said "dear boy" is facing 
brickbats and starvation, as per order. 

I confess that my opinion of the chiefs of the 
Salvation Army has been so distinctly modified by 
the perusal of this pamphlet that I am glad to be 
relieved from the necessity of expressing it. It 
will be much better that I should cite a few 
sentences from the preface written by Dr. 
Cunningham Geikie, who expresses warm admir 
ation for the early and uncorrupted work of the 
Salvation Army, and cannot possibly be accused 
of prejudice against it on religious grounds : 



(1) " The Salvation Army is emphatically a 
family concern. Mr. Booth, senior, is General; 
one son is chief of the staff, and the remaining 
sons and daughters engross the other chief 
positions. It is Booth all over ; indeed, like the 
sun in your eyes, you can see nothing else 
wherever you turn. And, as Dr. Geikie shrewdly 
remarks, to be the head of a widely spread sect 
carries with it many advantages not all exclu 
sively spiritual. " 

(2) Whoever becomes a Salvation officer is 
henceforth a slave, helplessly exposed to the 
caprice of his superiors." 

" Mr. Redstone bore an excellent character both 
before he entered the army and when he left it. 
To join it, though a married man, he gave up a 
situation which he had held for five years, and he 
served Mr. Booth t\vo years, working hard inmost 
difficult posts. His one fault, Major Lawley tells 
us, was, that he was too straight that is, too 
honest, truthful, and manly or, in other words, too 
real a Christian. Yet without trial, without 
formulated charges, on the strength of secret 
complaints which were never, apparently, tested, 
he was dismissed with less courtesy than most 
people would show a beggar with 2s. 4d. for his 
last week s salary. If there be any mistake in 
this matter, I shall be glad to learn it." 

(3) Dr. Geikie confirms, on the ground of in 
formation given confidentially by other officers, 


Mr. Redstone s assertion that they are watched 
and reported by spies from headquarters. 

(4) Mr. Booth refuses to guarantee his officers 
any fixed amount of salary. While he and his 
family of high officials live in comfort, if not in 
luxury, the pledged slaves whose devotion is the 
foundation of any true success the Army has met 
with often have "hardly food enough to sustain 
life. One good fellow frankly told me that when 
he had nothing he just went and begged." 

At this point, it is proper that I should inter 
pose an apology for having hastily spoken of such 
men as Francis of Assisi, even for purposes of 
warning, in connection with Mr. Booth. What 
ever may be thought of the wisdom of the plans 
of the founders of the great monastic orders of 
the middle ages, they took their full share of 
suffering and privation, and never shirked in their 
own persons the sacrifices they imposed on their 

I have already expressed the opinion, that 
whatever the ostensible purpose of the scheme 
under discussion, one of its consequences will be 
the setting up and endowment of a new Ranter- 
Socialist sect. I may now add that another effect 
will be indeed, has been to set up and endow 
the Booth dynasty with unlimited control of the 
physical, moral, and financial resources of the sect. 
Mr. Booth is already a printer and publisher, 
who, it is plainly declared, utilizes the officers of 

s 2 


the Army as agents for advertising and selling his 
publications ; and some of them are so strongly 
impressed with the belief that active pushing of 
Mr. Booth s business is the best road to their 
master s favour, that when the public obstinately 
refuse to purchase his papers they buy them 
themselves and send the proceeds to headquarters. 
Mr. Booth is also a retail trader on a large scale, 
and the Dean of Wells has, most seasonably, 
drawn attention to the very notable banking pro 
ject which he is trying to float. Any one who 
follows Dean Plumptre s clear exposition of the 
principles of this financial operation can have 
little doubt that, whether they are, or are not, 
adequate to the attainment of the first and second 
of Mr. Booth s ostensible objects, they may be 
trusted to effect a wide extension of any kingdom 
in which worldly possessions are of no value. We 
are, in fact, in sight of a financial catastrophe like 
that of Law a century ago. Only it is the poor 
who will suffer. 

I have already occupied too much of your space, 
and yet I have drawn upon only one of the 
sources of information about the inner working 
of the Salvation Army at my disposition. Far 
graver charges than any here dealt with are 
publicly brought in the others. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 



P.S. I have just read Mr. Buchanan s letter in 
the Times of to-day. Mr. Buchanan is, I believe, 
an imaginative writer. I am not acquainted with 
his works, but nothing in the way of fiction he 
has yet achieved can well surpass his account of 
my opinions and of the purport of .my writings. 


The " Times" December 20th, 1890 

SIR, In discussing Mr. Booth s projects I have 
hitherto left in the background a distinction 
which must be kept well in sight by those who 
wish to form a fair judgment of the influence, for 
good or evil, of the Salvation Army. Salvationism, 
the work of " saving souls " by revivalist methods, 
is one thing ; Boothism, the utilization of the 
workers for the furtherance of Mr. Booth s 
peculiar projects, is another. Mr. Booth has 
captured, and harnessed with sharp bits and 
effectual blinkers, a multitude of ultra-Evange 
lical missionaries of the revivalist school who were 
wandering at large. It is this skilfully, if some 
what mercilessly, driven team which has dragged 
the " General s " coach -load of projects into their 
present position. 


Looking, then, at the host of Salvationists 
proper, from the " captains " downwards (to whom, 
in my judgment, the family hierarchy stands in 
the relation of the Old Man of the Sea to Sinbad), 
as an independent entity, I desire to say that the 
evidence before me, whether hostile or friendly to 
the General and his schemes, is distinctly favour 
able to them. It exhibits them as, in the main, 
poor, uninstructed, not unfrequently fanatical, en 
thusiasts, the purity of whose lives, the sincerity of 
whose belief, and the cheerfulness of whose en 
durance of privation and rough usage, in what 
they consider a just cause, command sincere 
respect. For my part, though I conceive the 
corybantic method of soul-saving to be full of 
dangers, and though the theological specu 
lations of these good people are to me wholly 
unacceptable, yet I believe that the evils which 
must follow in the track of such errors, as of all 
other errors, will be largely outweighed by the 
moral and social improvement of the people 
whom they convert. I would no more raise my 
voice against them (so long as they abstain from 
annoying their neighbours) than I would quarrel 
. with a man, vigorously sweeping out a stye, on 
account of the shape of his broom, or because he 
made a great noise over his work. I have always 
had a strong faith in the principle of the injunc 
tion, " Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth 
out the corn." If a kingdom is worth a Mass, as 


a great ruler said, surely the reign of clean living, 
industry, and thrift is worth any quantity of 
tambourines and eccentric doctrinal hypotheses. 
All that I have hitherto said, and propose further 
to say, is directed against Mr. Booth s extremely 
clever, audacious, and hitherto successful attempt 
to utilize the credit won by all this honest devo 
tion and self-sacrifice for the purposes of his 
socialistic autocracy. 

I now propose to bring forward a little more 
evidence as to how things really stand where Mr. 
Booth s system has had a fair trial. I obtain it, 
mainly, from a curious pamphlet, the title of 
which runs : " The New Papacy. Behind the 
Scenes in the Salvation Army," by an ex-Staff 
Officer. " Make not my Father s house a house of 
merchandise " (John ii. 16). 1880. Published 
at Toronto, by A. Britnell. On the cover it is 
stated that " This is the book which was burned 
by the authorities of the Salvation Army." I 
remind the reader, once more, that the statements 
which I shall cite must be regarded as ex parl< ; 
all I can vouch for is that, on grounds of internal 
evidence and from other concurrent testimony 
respecting the ways of the Booth hierarchy, I 
feel justified in using them. 

This is the picture the writer draws of the army 
in the early days of its invasion of the Dominion 
of Canada : 


" Then, it will be remembered, it professed to 
be the humble handmaid of the existing churches ; 
its professed object was the evangelization of the 
masses. It repudiated the idea of building up a 
separate religious body, and it denounced the 
practice of gathering together wealth and the 
accumulation of property. Men and women other 
than its own converts gathered around it and 
threw themselves heart and soul into the work, 
for the simple reason that it offered, as they 
supposed, a more extended and widely open 
field for evangelical effort. Ministers everywhere 
were invited and welcomed to its platforms, 
majors and colonels were few and far between, 
and the supremacy and power of the General 
were things unknown. . . . Care was taken to 
avoid anything like proselytism ; its converts were 
never coerced into joining its ranks. ... In a 
word, the organization occupied the position of 
an auxiliary mission and recruiting agency for 
the various religious bodies. . . . The meetings 
were crowded, people professed conversion by the 
score, the public liberally supplied the means to 
carry on the work in their respective commu 
nities ; therefore every corps was wholly self- 
supporting, its officers were properly, if not 
luxuriously, cared for, the local expenditure was 
amply provided, and, under the supervision of the 
secretary, a local member, and the officer in charge, 
the funds were disbursed in the towns where they 


were collected, and the spirit of satisfaction and 
confidence was mutual all around" (pp. 4, 5). 

Such was the army as the green tree. Now 
for the dry : 

" Those who have been daily conversant with 
the army s machinery are well aware how entirely 
and radically the whole system has changed, and 
how, from a band of devoted and disinterested 
workers, united in the bonds of zeal and charity 
for the good of their fellows, it has developed into 
a colossal and aggressive agency for the building 
up of a system and a sect, bound by rules and 
regulations altogether subversive of religious 
liberty and antagonistic to every (other ?) branch 
of Christian endeavour, and bound hand and foot 
to the will of one supreme head and ruler. . . . As 
the work has spread through the country, and as 
the area of its endeavours has enlarged, each 
leading position has been filled, one after the 
other, by individuals strangers to the country, 
totally ignorant of the sentiments and idiosyn 
crasies of the Canadian people, trained in one 
school under the teachings and dominance of a 
member of the Booth family, and out of whom 
every idea has been crushed, except that of 
unquestioning obedience to the General, and the 
absolute necessity of going forward to his bidding 
without hesitation or question " (p. 6). 


" What is the result of all this ? In the first 
place, whilst material prosperity has undoubtedly 
been attained, spirituality has been quenched, and, 
as an evangelical agency, the army has become 
almost a dead letter. ... In seventy-five per cent, 
of its stations its officers suffer need and privation, 
chiefly on account of the heavy taxation that is 
placed upon them to maintain an imposing head 
quarters and a large ornamental staff. The whole 
financial arrangements are carried on by a system 
of inflation and a hand-to-mouth extravagance and 
blindness as to future contingencies. Nearly all of 
its original workers and members have disappeared" 
(p. 7). " In reference to the religious bodies at 
large the army has become entirely antagonistic. 
Soldiers are forbidden by its rules to attend other 
places of worship without the permission of their 
officers. . . . Officers or soldiers who may con 
scientiously leave the service or the ranks are 
looked upon and often denounced publicly as 
backsliders. . . . Means of the most despicable 
description have been resorted to in order to 
starve them back to the service " (p. 8). " In its 
inner workings the army system is identical with 
Jesuitism. . . . That the end justifies the means, 
if not openly taught, is as tacitly agreed as in that 
celebrated order " (p. 9). 

Surely a bitter, overcharged, anonymous libel, is 
the reflection which will occur to many who read 


these passages, especially the last. Well, I turn 
to other evidence which, at any rate, is not anony 
mous. It is contained in a pamphlet entitled 
" General Booth, the Family, and the Salvation 
Army, showing its Rise, Progress, and Moral and 
Spiritual Decline," by S. H. Hodges, LL.B., late 
Major in the Army, and formerly private secretary 
to General Booth (Manchester, 1800). I recom 
mend potential contributors to Mr. Booth s wealth 
to study this little work also. I have learned a 
great deal from it. Among other interesting 
novelties, it tells me that Mr. Booth has dis 
covered " the necessity of a third step or blessing, 
in the work of Salvation. He said to me one d-iy, 
Hodges, you have only two barrels to your gun ; 
I have three " (p. 31). And if Mr. Hodges s de 
scription of this third barrel is correct " giving up 
your conscience " and, " for God and the army, 
stooping to do things which even honourable 
worldly men would not consent to do " (p. 32) it 
is surely calculated to bring down a good many 
things, the first principles of morality among 

Mr. Hodges gives some remarkable examples of 
the army practice with the " General s " new rifle. 
But I must refer the curious to his instructive 
pamphlet. The position I am about to take up is 
a serious one ; and I prefer to fortify it by the help 
of evidence which, though some of it may be 
anonymous, cannot be sneered away. And I shall 


be believed, when I say that nothing but a sense 
of the great social danger of the spread of 
Boothism could induce me to revive a scandal, 
even though it is barely entitled to the benefit of 
the Statute of Limitations. 

On the 7th of July, 1883, you, Sir, did the 
public a great service by writing a leading article 
on the notorious " Eagle " case, from which I take 
the following extract : 

" Mr. Justice Kay refused the application, but 
he was induced to refuse it by means which, as 
Mr. Justice Stephen justly remarked, were highly 
discreditable to Mr. Booth. Mr. Booth filed an 
affidavit which appears totally to have misled 
Mr. Justice Kay, as it would have misled any one 
who regarded it as a frank and honest statement 
by a professed teacher of religion." 

When I addressed my first letter to you I had 
never so much as heard of the " Eagle " scandal. 
But I am thankful that my perception of the 
inevitable tendency of all religious autocracies 
towards evil was clear enough to bring about a 
provisional condemnation of Mr. Booth s schemes 
in my mind. Supposing that I had decided the 
other way, with what sort of feeling should I have 
faced my friend, when I had to confess that the 
money had passed into the absolute control of a, 
person about the character of whose administra- 


tion this concurrence of damnatory evidence was 
already extant ? 

I have nothing to say about Mr. Booth person 
ally, for I know nothing. On that subject, as on 
several others, I profess myself an agnostic. But, 
if he is, as he may be, a saint actuated by the 
purest of motives, he is not the first saint who, 
as you have said, has shown himself " in the 
ardour of prosecuting a well-meant object" to 
be capable of overlooking " the plain maxims of 
every-day morality." If I were a Salvationist 
soldier, I should cry with Othello, " Cassio, I love 
thee ; but never more be officer of mine." 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 



The " Times! December 24<th, 1890 

SIR, If I have any strong points, finance is 
certainly not one of them. But the financial, or 
rather fiscal, operations of the General of the 
Salvation Army, as they are set forth and 
exemplified in " The New Papacy," possess that 
grand simplicity which is the mark of genius ; 


and even I can comprehend them or, to be more 
modest, I can portray them in such a manner 
that every lineament, however harsh, and every 
shade, however dark, can be verified by published 

Suppose there is a thriving, expanding colonial 
town, and that, scattered among its artizans and 
labourers, there is a sprinkling of Methodists, or 
other such ultra-evangelical good people, doing 
their best, in a quiet way, to " save souls." 
Clearly, this is an outpost which it is desirable to 
capture. " We," therefore, take measures to get 
up a Salvation " boom " of the ordinary pattern. 
Enthusiasm is roused. A score or two of soldiers 
are enlisted into the ranks of the Salvation Army. 
" We " select the man who promises to serve our 
purposes best, make a " captain " of him, and put 
him in command of the " corps." He is very 
pleased and grateful ; and indeed he ought to be. 
All he has done is that he has given up his trade ; 
that he has promised to work at least nine hours 
a day in our service (none of your eight-hour 
nonsense for us) as collector, bookseller, general 
agent, and anything else we may order him to be. 
" We," on the other hand, guarantee him nothing 
whatever ; to do so might weaken his faith and 
substitute worldly for spiritual ties between us. 
Knowing that, if he exerts himself in a right 
spirit, his labours will surely be blessed, we con 
tent ourselves with telling him that if, after all 


expenses are paid and our demands are satisfied 
each week, 25s. remains, he may take it. And, if 
nothing remains, he may take that, and stay his 
stomach with what the faithful may give him. 
With a certain grim playfulness, we add that the 
value of these contributions will be reckoned as 
so much salary. So long as our " captain " is 
successful, therefore, a beneficent spring of cash 
trickles unseen into our treasury ; when it begins 
to dry up we say, " God bless you, dear boy," turn 
him adrift (with or without 2s. 4<d. in his pocket), 
and put some other willing horse in the shafts. 

The " General," I believe, proposes, among other 
things, to do away with " sweating." May he not 
as well set a good example by beginning at 
home ? 

My little sketch, however, looks so like a 
monstrous caricature that, after all, I must 
produce the original from the pages of my 
Canadian authority. He says that a " captain " 
"has to pay 10 per cent, of all collections and 
donations to the divisional fund for the support of 
his divisional officer, who has also the privilege of 
arranging for such special meetings as he shall 
think fit, the proceeds of which he takes away for 
the general needs of the division. Headquarters, 
too, has the right to hold such special meetings 
at the corps and send around such special at 
tractions as its wisdom sees fit, and to take away 
the proceeds for the purposes it decides upon. 


. . . He has to pay the rent of his building, 
either to headquarters or a private individual ; he 
has to send the whole collection of the afternoon 
meeting of the first Sunday in the month to the 
Extension Fund at headquarters ; he has to pay 
for the heating, lighting, and cleaning of his hall, 
together with such necessary repairs as may be 
needed ; he has to provide the food, lodging, and 
clothing of his cadet, if he has one ; headquarters 
taxes him with so many copies of the army papers 
each week, for which he has to pay, sold or un 
sold ; and when he has done this, he may take 
$6 (or $5, being a woman), or such proportion of 
it as may be left, with which to clothe and feed 
himself and to pay the rent and provide for the 
heating and lighting of his quarters. If he has a 
lieutenant he has to pay him $6 per week, or 
such proportion of it as he himself gets, and share 
the house expenses with him. Now, it will be 
easily understood that at least 60 per cent, of the 
stations in Canada the officer gets no money at 
all, and he has to beg specially amongst his people 
for his house-rent and food. There are few places 
in the Dominion in which the soldiers do not find 
their officers in all the food they need ; but it 
must be remembered that the value of the food 
so received has to be accounted for at headquarters 
and entered upon the books of the corps as cash 
received, the amount being deducted from any 
moneys that the officer is able to take from the 


week s collections. So that, no matter how much 
may be specially given, the officer cannot receive 
more than the value of $6 per week. The 
officer cannot collect any arrears of salary, as each 
week has to pay its own expenses ; and if there 
is any surplus cash after all demands are met it 
must be sent to the war chest at headquarters." 
" The New Papacy " (pp. 35, 36). 

Evidently, Sir, " headquarters " has taken to 
heart the injunction about casting your bread 
upon the waters. It casts the crumb of a day or 
two s work of an emissary, and gets back any 
quantity of loaves of cash, so long as " captains " 
present themselves to be used up and replaced by 
new victims. What can be said of these devoted 
poor fellows except, sanda simplicitas ! 

But it would be a great mistake to suppose 
that the money-gathering efficacy of Mr. Booth s 
fiscal agencies is exhausted by the foregoing 
enumeration of their regular operations. Con 
sider the following edifying history of the " Rescue 
Home " in Toronto : 

" It is a fine building in the heart of the city ; 
the lot cost $7,000, and a building was put up at 
a cost of $7,000 more, and there is a mortgage on 
it amounting to half the cost of the whole. The 
land to-day would probably fetch double its 
original price, and every year enhances its value 
In the first five months of its 



existence this institution received from the public 
an income of $1,812 70c. ; out of this $600 was 
paid to headquarters for rent, $590 52c. was 
spent upon the building in various ways, and the 
balance of $622 18c. paid the salaries of the staff 
and supported the inmates " (pp. 24, 25). 

Said I not truly that Mr. Booth s fisc bears the 
stamp of genius ? Who else could have got the 
public to buy him a " corner lot," put a building 
upon it, pay all its working expenses : and then, 
not content with paying him a heavy rent for the 
use of the handsome present they had made him, 
they say not a word against his mortgaging it to 
half its value ? And, so far as any one knows, 
there is nothing to stop headquarters from selling 
the whole estate to-morrow, and using the money 
as the " General " may direct. 

Once more listen to the author of " The New 
Papacy," who affirms that " out of the funds 
given by the Dominion for the evangelization of 
the people by means of the Salvation Army, one 
sixth had been spent in the extension of the 
Kingdom of God, and the other five sixths had 
been invested in valuable property, all handed 
over to Mr. Booth and his heirs and assigns, as 
we have already stated " (p. 26). 

And this brings me to the last point upon 
which I wish to touch. The answer to all 
inquiries as to what has become of the enormous 


personal and real estate which has been given 
over to Mr. Booth is that it is held " in trust." 
The supporters of Mr. Booth may feel justified 
in taking that statement " on trust." I do not. 
Anyhow, the more completely satisfactory this 
" trust " is, the less can any man who asks the 
public to put blind faith in his integrity and his 
wisdom object to acquaint them exactly with its 
provisions. Is the trust drawn up in favour of 
the Salvation Army? But what is the legal 
status of the Salvation Army ? Have the soldiers 
any claim ? Certainly not. Have the officers 
any legal interest in the " trust " ? Surely not. 
The " General " has taken good care to insist on 
their renouncing all claims as a condition of their 
appointment. Thus, to all appearance, the army, 
as a legal person, is identical with Mr. Booth. 
And, in that case, any " trust " ostensibly for the 
benefit of the army is what shall we say that is 
at once accurate and polite ? 

I conclude with these plain questions Will 
Mr. Booth take counsel s opinion as to whether 
there is anything in such legal arrangements as 
he has at present made which prevents him from 
disposing of the wealth he has accumulated at 
his own will and pleasure ? Will anybody be in 
a position to set either the civil or the criminal 
law in motion against him or his successors if he 
or they choose to spend every farthing in ways 

T 2 


very different from those contemplated by the 
donors ? 

I may add that a careful study of the terms 
of a " Declaration of Trust by William Booth in 
favour of the Christian Mission," made in 1878, 
has not enabled persons of much greater com 
petence than myself to answer these questions 
satisfactorily. 1 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

On December 24th a letter appeared in the 
" Times " signed " J. S. Trotter," in which the 
following passages appear : 

" It seems a pity to put a damper on the 
spirits of those who agree with Professor Huxley 
in his denunciation of General Booth and all his 
works. May I give a few particulars as to the 
book which was published in Canada ? I had 
the pleasure of an interview with the author of 
a book written in Canada. The book was printed 
at Toronto, and two copies only struck off by the 
printers ; one of these copies was stolen from the 
printer, and the quotation sent to you by Professor 
Huxley was inserted in the book, and is con- 
1 See Preface to this volume, pp. ix xiii. 


sequently a forgery. The book was published 
without the consent and against the will of the 

" So the quotation is not only a bitter, over 
charged anonymous libel, as Professor Huxley 
intimates, but a forgery as well. As to Mr. 
Hodges, it seems to me to be simply trifling with 
your readers to bring him in as an authority. 
He was turned out of the army, out of kindness 
taken on again, and again dismissed. If this had 
happened to one of your staff, would his opinion 
of the Times as a newspaper be taken for 
gospel ? " 

But in the " Times " of December 29th Mr. J. 
S. Trotter writes : 

" I find I was mistaken in saying, in my letter 
of Wednesday, to the Times that Mr. Hodges 
was dismissed from the service of General Booth, 
and regret any inconvenience the statement may 
have caused to Mr. Hodges." 

And on December 30th the " Times " published 
a letter from Mr. Hodges in which he says that 
Mr. Trotter s statements as they regard himself 
" are the very reverse of truth. I was never 
turned out of the Salvation Army. Nor, so far 
as I was made acquainted with General Booth s 
motives, was I taken on again out of kindness. 


In order to rejoin the Salvation Army, I resigned 
the position of manager in a mill where I was in 
receipt of a salary of 250 per annum, with house- 
rent and one third of the profits. Instead of this 
Mr. Booth allowed me 2 per week and house- 


The "Timcs^ December 26th, 1890 

SIR, I am much obliged to Mr. J. S. Trotter 
for the letter which you published this morning. 
It furnishes evidence, which I much desired to 
possess on the following points : 

1. The author of "The New Papacy" is a 
responsible, trustworthy person ; otherwise Mr. 
Trotter would not speak of having had " the 
pleasure of an interview" with him. 

2. After this responsible person had taken the 
trouble to write a pamphlet of sixty-four closely 
printed pages, some influence was brought to bear 
upon him, the effect of which was that he refused 
his consent to its publication. Mr. Trotter s ex 
cellent infori nation will surely enable him to tell 
us what influence that was. 

3. How does Mr. Trotter know that any passage 


I have quoted is an interpolation ? Does he 
possess that other copy of the " two " which alone, 
as he affirms, were printed ? 

4. If so, he will be able to say which of the 
passages I have cited is genuine and which is not ; 
and whether the tenor of the whole uninterpolated 
copy differs in any important respect from that of 
the copy I have quoted. 

It will be interesting to hear what Mr. J. S. 
Trotter has to say upon these points. But the 
really important thing which he has done is that 
he has testified, of his own knowledge, that the 
anonymous author of " The New Papacy " is no 
mere irresponsible libeller, but a person of whom 
even an ardent Salvationist has to speak with 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

[I may add that the unfortunate Mr. Trotter 
did me the further service of eliciting the letter 
from Mr. Hodges referred to on p. 277 which 
sufficiently establishes that gentleman s credit, 
and leads me to attach full weight to his evidence 
about the " third barrel/ ] 

January 1891. 



The " Times" December 27th, 1890 

SIR, In making use of the only evidence of 
the actual working of Mr. Booth s autocratic 
government accessible to me, I was fully aware of 
the slippery nature of the ground upon which I 
was treading. For, as I pointed out in my first 
letter, " no personal habit more surely degrades 
the conscience and the intellect than blind and 
unhesitating obedience to unlimited authority." 
Now we have it, on Mr. Booth s own showing, 
that every officer of his has undertaken to " obey 
without questioning or gainsaying the orders from 
headquarters. And the possible relations of such 
orders to honour and veracity are demonstrated 
not only by the judicial deliverance on Mr. Booth s 
affidavit in the " Eagle " case, which I have 
already cited ; not only by Mr. Bramwell Booth s 
admission before Mr. Justice Lopes that he had 
stated what was " not quite correct " because he 
had " promised Mr. Stead not to divulge " the facts 
of the case (the " Times," November 4th, 1885) ; 
but by the following passage in Mr. Hodges s 
account of the reasons of his withdrawal from the 
Salvation Army : 

The General and Chief did not and could not 


deny doing these things ; the only question was 
this, Was it right to practise this deception? 
These points of difference were fully discussed 
between myself and the Chief of the Staff 
on my withdrawal, especially the Leamington 
incident, which was the one that finally drove 
me to decision. I had come to the conclusion, 
from the first, that they had acted as they 
supposed with a single eye to the good of 
God s cause, and had persuaded myself that 
the things were, as against the devil, right to 
be done, that as in battle one party captured 
a n< I turned the enemy s own guns upon them, 
so, as they were fighting against the devil, it 
would be fair to use against him his weapons. 
And I wrote to this effect to the General" 
(p. 63). 

Now, I do not wish to say anything needlessly 
harsh, but I ask any prudent man these questions. 
Could I, under these circumstances, trust any 
uncorroborated statement emanating from head 
quarters, or made by the General s order? Had 
I any reason to doubt the truth of Mr. Hodgos s 
naive confession of the corrupting influence of 
Mr. Booth s system ? And did it not behove me 
to pick my way carefully through the mass of 
statements before me, many of them due to people 
whose moral sense might, by possibility, have been 
as much blunted by the army discipline in the 


use of the weapons of the devil as Mr. Hodges 
affirms that his was ? 

Therefore, in my third letter, I commenced my 
illustrations of the practical working of Boothism 
with the evidence of Mr. Redstone, fortified and 
supplemented by that of a non-Salvationist, Dr. 
Cunningham Geikie. That testimony has not 
been challenged, and, until it is, I shall assume 
that it cannot be. In my fourth letter, I cited a 
definite statement by Mr. Hodges in evidence of 
the Jesuitical principles of headquarters. What 
sort of answer is it to tell us that Mr. Hodges 
was dismissed the army ? A child might expect 
that some such red herring would be drawn 
across the trail ; and, in anticipation of the stale 
trick, I added the strong primd facie evidence of 
the trustworthiness of my witness, in this par 
ticular, which is afforded by the " Eagle " case. 
It was not until I wrote my fourth letter to you, 
Sir until the exploitation of the " captains " and 
the Jesuitry of headquarters could be proved up 
to the hilt that I ventured to have recourse to 
" The New Papacy." So far as the pamphlet 
itself goes, this is an anonymous work ; and, for 
sufficient reasons, I did not choose to go beyond 
what was to be found between its covers. To 
any one accustomed to deal with the facts of 
evolution, the Boothism of" The New Papacy " was 
merely the natural and necessary development 
of the Boothism of Mr. licdstmir s < -use and of the 


" Eagle " case. Therefore, I felt fully justified in 
using it, at the same time carefully warning my 
readers that it must be taken with due caution. 

Mr. Trotter s useful letter admits that such a 
book was written by a person with whom he had 
the " pleasure of an interview," and that a version 
of it (interpolated, according to his assertion) was 
published against the will of the author. Hence 
I am justified in believing that there is a founda 
tion of truth in certain statements, some of which 
have long been in my possession, but which for 
lack of Mr. Trotter s valuable corroboration I have 
refrained from using. The time is come when I 
can set forth some of the heads of this informa 
tion, with the request that Mr. Trotter, who 
knows all about the business, will be so good as 
to point out any error that there may be in them. 
I am bound to suppose that his sole object, like 
mine, is the elucidation of the truth, and to 
assume his willingness to help me therein to the 
best of his ability. 

1. " The author of The New Papacy is a 
Mr. Simmer, a person of perfect respectability, and 
greatly esteemed in Toronto, who held a high 
position in the Army. When he left, a large 
public meeting, presided over by a popular 
Methodist minister, passed a vote of sympathy 
wiili him." 


Is this true or false ? 

2. " On Saturday last, about noon, Mr. Sumner, 
the author of the book, and Mr. Fred Perry, the 
Salvation Army printer, accompanied by a lawyer, 
went down to Messrs. Imrie and Graham s estab 
lishment, and asked for all the manuscript, stereo 
type plates, &c., of the book. Mr. Sumner ex 
plained that the book had been sold to the Army, 
and, on a cheque for the amount due being given, 
the printing material was delivered up." 

Did these paragraphs appear in the " Toronto 
Telegram" of April 24th, 1889, or did they 
not ? Are the statements they contain true or 
false ? 

3. " Public interest in the fate or probable out 
come of that mysterious book called The New 
Papacy ; or, Behind the Scenes in the Salvation 
Army, continues unabated, though the line of pro 
ceedings by the publisher and his solicitor, Mr. 
Smoke, of Watson, Thome, Smoke, and Masten, 
has not been altered since yesterday. The book, 
no doubt, will be issued in some form. So far as 
known, only one complete copy remains, and the 
whereabouts of this is a secret which will be 
profoundly kept. It is safe to say that if the 
Commissioner kept on guessing until the next 
anniversary, he would not strike the secluded 


location of the one volume among five thousand 
which escaped, when he and his assistant, Mr. 
Fred Perry, believed they had cast every vestige 
of the forbidden work into the fiery furnace. On 
Tuesday last, when the discovery was made that 
a copy of The New Papacy was in existence, 
Publisher Britnell, of Yonge Street, was at once 
the suspected holder, and in a short time his 
book-store was the resort of army agents sent 
to reconnoitre " (" Toronto News," April 28th, 

Is this a forgery, or is it not ? Is it in sub 
stance true or false ? 

When Mr. Trotter has answered these inquiries 
categorically, we may proceed to discuss the ques 
tion of interpolations in Mr. Sumner s book. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 


[On the 26th of December a letter, signed J. T. 
Cunningham, late Fellow of University College, 
Oxford, called forth the following commentary.] 


The " Times" December 29th, 1890 

SIR, If Mr. Cunningham doubts the efficacy 
of the struggle for existence, as a factor in social 
conditions, he should find fault with Mr. Booth 
and not with me. 

" I am labouring under no delusion as to the 
possibility of inaugurating the millennium by my 
social specific. In the struggle of life the weakest 
will go to the wall, and there are so many weak. 
The fittest in tooth and claw will survive. All 
that we can do is to soften the lot of the unfit, 
and make their suffering less horrible than it is 
at present " (" In Darkest England," p. 44). 

That is what Mr. Cunningham would have 
found if he had read Mr. Booth s book with 
attention. And, if he will bestow equal pains on 
my second letter, he will discover that he has 
interpolated the word " wilfully " in his statement 
of my " argument," which runs thus : " Shutting 
his eyes to the necessary consequences of the 
struggle for life, the existence of which he admits 
as fully as any Darwinian, Mr. Booth tells men 
whose evil case is one of those consequences that 
envy is a corner-stone of our competitive system." 


Mr. Cunningham s physiological studies will have 
informed him that the process of " shutting the 
eyes," in the literal sense of the words, is not 
always wilful ; and I propose to illustrate, by the 
crucial instance his own letter furnishes, that the 
" shutting of the eyes " of the mind to the obvious 
consequences of accepted propositions may also be 
involuntary. At least, I hope so. 

1. " Sooner or later," says Mr. Cunningham, 
" the population problem will block the way once 
more." What does this mean, except that multi 
plication, excessive in relation to the contem 
poraneous means of support, will create a severe 
competition for those means ? And this seems to 
me to be a pretty accurate " reflection of the con 
ceptions of Malthus " and the other poor benighted 
folks of a past generation at whom Mr. Cunning 
ham sneers. 

2. By way of leaving no doubt upon this sub 
ject, Mr. Cunningham further tells us, " The 
struggle for existence is always going on, of 
course; let us thank Darwin for making us realize 
it." It is pleasant to meet with a little gratitude 
to Darwin among the cpigoni who are squabbling 
over the heritage he conquered for them, but Mr. 
Cunningham s personal expression of that feeling 
is hasty. For it is obvious that he has not 
" realized " the significance of Darwin s teaching 
indeed, I fail to discover in Mr. Cunningham s 
letter any sign that he has even " realized " what 


he would be at. If the " struggle for existence is 
always going on " ; and if, as I suppose will be 
granted, industrial competition is one phase of 
that struggle, I fail to see how my conclusion that 
it is sheer wickedness to tell ignorant men that 
" envy " is a corner-stone of competition can be 

Mr. Cunningham has followed the lead of that 
polished and instructed person, Mr. Ben Tillett, 
in rebuking me for (as the associates say) attack 
ing Mr. Booth s personal character. Of course, 
when I was writing, I did not doubt that this 
very handy, though not too clean, weapon would 
be used by one or other of Mr. Booth s supporters. 
And my action was finally decided by the follow 
ing considerations : I happen to be a member of 
one of the largest life insurance societies. There 
is a vacancy in the directory at present, for which 
half a dozen gentlemen are candidates. Now, I 
said to myself, supposing that one of these gentle 
men (whose pardon I humbly beg for starting the 
hypothesis), say Mr. A., in his administrative 
capacity and as a man of business, has been the 
subject of such observations as a Judge on the 
Bench bestowed upon Mr. Booth, is he a person for 
whom I can properly vote ? And, if I find, when 
I go to the meeting of the policy-holders, that 
most of them know nothing of this and other 
evidences of what, by the mildest judgment, must 
be termed Mr. A. s unfitness for administrative 


responsibilities, am I to let them remain in their 
ignorance ? I leave the answer and its applica 
tion to men of sense and integrity. 

The mention of Mr. Cunningham s ally reminds 
me that I have omitted to thank Mr. Tillett for 
his very useful and instructive letter; and I 
hasten to repair a neglect which I assure Mr. 
Tillett was more apparent than real. Mr. Tillett s 
letter is dated December 20th. On the 21st 
the following pregnant (however unconscious) 
commentary upon it appeared in " Reynolds s 
Newspaper " : 

" I have always maintained that the Salvation 
Army is one of the mightiest Socialistic agencies 
in the country ; and now Professor Huxley comes 
in to confirm that view. How could it be other 
wise ? The fantastic religious side of Salvationism 
will disappear in the course of time, and what 
will be left ? A large number of men and women 
who have been organized, disciplined, and taught 
to look for something better than their present 
condition, and who have become public speakers 
and not afraid of ridicule. There you have the 
raw materials for a Socialist army." 

Mr. Ben Tillett evidently knows Latin enough 
to construe proximus ardet. 

I trust that the public will not allow themselves 
to be led away by the false issues which are 



dangled before them. A man really may love 
his fellow-men ; cherish any form of Christianity 
he pleases; and hold not only that Darwinism 
is " tottering to its fall," but, if he pleases, the 
equally sane belief that it never existed ; and yet 
may feel it his duty to oppose, to the best of his 
capacity, despotic Socialism in all its forms, and, 
more particularly, in its Boothian disguise. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

[Persons who have not had the advantage of a 
classical education might fairly complain of my 
use of the word cpigoni. To say truth, I had 
been reading Droysen s " Geschichte des Hellen- 
ismus," and the familiar historical title slipped 
out unawares. In replying to me, however, the 
late "Fellow of University College," Oxford, 
declares he had to look the word out in a 
Lexicon. I commend the fact to the notice of 
the combatants over the desirability of retaining 
the present compulsory modicum of Greek in our 



Tkc " Times; December 30ta, 1890 

SIR, I am much obliged to Messrs. Ranger, 
Burton, and Matthews for their prompt answer to 
my questions. I presume it applies to all money 
collected by the agency of the Salvation Army, 
though not specifically given for the purposes 
of the " Christian Mission " named in the deed 
of 1878 ; to all sums raised by mortgage upon 
houses and land so given ; and, further, to funds 
subscribed for Mr. Booth s various projects, which 
have no apparent reference to the objects of 
the " Christian Mission/ as defined in the deed. 
Otherwise, to use a phrase which has become 
classical, " it does not assist us much." But I 
must leave these points to persons learned in the 

And, indeed, with many thanks to you, Sir, for 
the amount of valuable space which you have 
allowed me to occupy, I now propose to leave the 
whole subject. My sole purpose in embarking 
upon an enterprise which was extremely dis 
tasteful to me was to prevent the skilful 
" General," or rather " Generals," who devised 
the plan of campaign from sweeping all before 
them with a rush. I found the pass already held 
by such stout defenders as Mr. Loch and the 



Dean of Wells, and, with your powerful help, we 
have given time for the reinforcements, sure to 
be sent by the abundant, though somewhat slowly 
acting, common sense of our countrymen, to come 

I can no longer be useful, and I return to more 
congenial occupations. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

The following letter appeared in the " Times " 
of January 2nd, 1891 : 

" DEAR MR. TILLETT, I have not had patience 
to read Professor Huxley s letters. The existence 
of hunger, nakedness, misery, death from in 
sufficient food, even of starvation, is certain, and 
no agency as yet reaches it. How can any man 
hinder or discourage the giving of food or help ? 
Why is the house called a workhouse ? Because 
it is for those who cannot work ? No, because it 
was the house to give work or bread. The very 
name is an argument. I am very sure what Our 
Lord and His Apostles would do if they were in 
London. Let us be thankful even to have a will 
to do the same. 

" Yours faithfully, 




The "Times" January 3rd, 1891 

SIR, In my old favourite, " The Arabian 
Nights," the motive of the whole series of delight 
ful narratives is that the sultan, who refuses to 
attend to reason, can be got to listen to a story. 
May I try whether Cardinal Manning is to be 
reached in the same way ? When I was attend 
ing the meeting of the British Association in 
Belfast nearly forty years ago, I had promised to 
breakfast with the eminent scholar Dr. Hincks. 
Having been up very late the previous night, I 
was behind time ; so, hailing an outside car, I said 
to the driver as I jumped on, " Now drive fast, I 
am in a hurry." Whereupon he whipped up his 
horse and set off at a hand-gallop. Nearly jerked 
off my seat, I shouted, " My good friend, do you 
know where I want to go ? " " No, yer honner," 
said the driver, " but, any way, I am driving fast." 
I have never forgotten this object-lesson in the 
dangers of ill-regulated enthusiasm. We are all in 
vited to jump on to the Salvation Army car, which 
Mr. Booth is undoubtedly driving very fast. Some 
of us have a firm conviction, not only that he is 
taking a very different direction from that in 
which we wish to go, but that, before long, car 
and driver will come to grief. Are we to accept 


the invitation, even at the bidding of the eminent 
person who appears to think himself entitled to 
pledge the credit of " Our Lord and His Apostles " 
in favour of Boothism ? 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 



The " Times 9 January 13M, 1891 

SIR, A letter from Mr. Booth-Clibborn, dated 
January 3rd, appeared in the " Times " of yester 
day. This elaborate document occupies three 
columns of small print space enough, assuivdly, 
for an effectual reply to the seven letters of 
mine to which the writer refers, if any such 
were forthcoming. Mr. Booth-Clibborn signs 
himself "Commissioner of the Salvation Army 
for France and Switzerland," but he says that he 
accepts my " challenge " without the knowledge 
of his chiefs. Considering the self-damaging 
chaiacter of his letter, it was, perhaps, hardly 
necessary to make that statement. 

Mr. " Commissioner " Booth-Clibborn speaks of 
my " challenge." I presume that he refers to my 


request for information about the authorship and 
fate of " The New Papacy," in the letter published 
in the " Times " on December 27th, 1890. The 
" Commissioner " deals with this matter in para 
graph No. 4 of his letter ; and I observe, with no 
little satisfaction, that he does not venture to con 
trovert any one of the statements of my witnesses. 
He tacitly admits that the author of " The New 
Papacy " was a person " greatly esteemed in 
Toronto," and that he held " a high position in the 
army " ; further, that the Canadian " Commis 
sioner " thought it worth while to pay the printer s 
bill, in order that the copies already printed off 
might be destroyed and the pamphlet effectually 
suppressed. Thus the essential facts of the case 
are admitted and established beyond question. 

How does Mr. Booth -Clibborn try to explain 
them away ? 

" Mr. Sumner, who wrote the little book in a 
hot fit, soon regretted it (as any man would do 
whose conscience showed him in a calmer moment, 
when his respectability returned with his repent 
ance, that he had grossly misrepresented), and just 
before it appeared offered to order its suppression 
if the army would pay the costs already incurred, 
and which he was unable to bear." 

" The New Papacy " fills sixty closely printed 
duodecimo pages. It is carefully written, and for 
the most part in studiously moderate language; 


moreover, it contains many precise details and 
figures, the ascertainment of which must have 
taken much time and trouble. Yet, forsooth, it 
was written in " a hot fit." 

I sincerely hope, for the sake of his own credit, 
that Mr. " Commissioner " Booth-Clibborn does 
not know as much about this melancholy business 
as I do. My hands are unfortunately tied, and I 
am not at liberty to use all the information in my 
possession. I must content myself with quoting 
the following passage from the preface to " The 
New Papacy " : 

" It has not been without considerable thought 
and a good deal of urging that the following pages 
have been given to the public. But though we 
would have shrunk from a labour so distasteful, 
and have gladly avoided a notoriety any tiling but 
pleasant to the feelings, or conducive to our 
material welfare, we have felt that in the interests 
of the benevolent public, in the interests of religion, 
in the interests of a band of devoted men and women 
whose personal ends are being defeated, and the fruit 
of whose labour is being destroyed, and, above all, 
in the interests of that future which lies before the 
Salvation Army itself, if purged and purified in its 
executive and returned to its original position in 
the ranks of Canadian Christian effort, it is no 
more than our duty to throw such light as we 
are able upon its true inwardness, and with that 


object and for the furtherance of those ends we 
offer our pages to the public view." 

The preface is dated April 1880. According 
to the statement in the " Toronto Telegram," 
which Mr. " Commissioner " Booth-Clibborn does 
not dare to dispute, his Canadian fellow-" Com 
missioner " bought and destroyed the whole edition 
of " The New Papacy " about the end of the third 
week in April. It is clear that the writer of 
the paragraph quoted from the preface was well 
out of a " hot fit," if he had ever been in one, 
while he had not entered on the stage of re 
pentance within three weeks of that time. Mr. 
" Commissioner " Booth-Clibborn s scandalous in 
sinuations that Mr. Sumner was bribed by " a few 
sovereigns," and that he was " bought off," in the 
face of his own admission that Mr. Sumner " offered 
to order its suppression if the army would pay the 
costs already incurred, and which he was unable 
to bear," is a crucial example of that Jesuitry with 
which the officials of the army have been so fre 
quently charged. 

Mr. " Commissioner " Boofch-Clibborn says that 
when " London headquarters heard of the affair, 
it disapproved of the action of the Commissioner." 
That circumstance indicates that headquarters is 
not wholly devoid of intelligence ; but it has 
nothing to do with the value of Mr. Sumner s 
evidence, which is all I am concerned about. 
Very likely London headquarters will disapprove 


of its French " Commissioner s " present action. 
But what then ? The upshot of all this is that 
Mr. Booth-Clibborn has made as great a blunder 
as simple Mr. Trotter did. The pair of Balaams 
greatly desired to curse, but have been compelled 
to bless. They have, between them, completely 
justified my reliance on Mr. Sumner as a perfectly 
trustworthy witness ; and neither of them has 
dared to challenge the accuracy of one solitary 
statement made by that worthy gentleman, whose 
full story I hope some day or other to see set 
before the public. Then the true causes of his 
action will be made known. 

Paragraph 2 of the " Commissioner s " letter 
says many things, but not much about Mr. Hodg< -s. 
The columns of the "Times" recently showed 
that Mr. Hodges was able to compel an apology 
from Mr. Trotter. I leave it to him to deal with 
the " Commissioner." 

As to the " Eagle " case, treated of in paragraph 
No. 3, a gentleman well versed in the law, \\lio 
was in court during the hearing of the appeal, 
has assured me that the argument was purely 
technical ; that the facts were very slightly gone 
into ; and that, so far as he knows, no dissenting 
comment was made on the strictures of the Judge 
before whom the case first came. Moreover, in 
the judgment of the Master of the Rolls, fully re 
corded in the "Times" of February 14th, 1884, 
the following passages occur : 


" The case had been heard by a learned Judge, 
who had exercised his discretion upon it, and the 
Court would not interfere with his discretion un 
less they could see that he was wrong. The learned 
Judge had taken a strong view of the conduct of the 
defendant, but nevertheless had said that he would 
have given relief if he could have seen how far 
protection and compensation could be given. And 
if this Court differed from him in that view, and 
could give relief without forfeiture, they would be 
acting on his own principle in doing so. Certain 
suggestions had been made with that view, and the 
Court had to consider the case under all the cir 
cumstances. . . . He himself (the Master of the 
Rolls) considered that it was probable the defend 
ant, with his principles, had intended to destroy 
the property as a public-house, and that it was 
not right thus to take property under a covenant 
to keep it up as a public-house, intending to 
destroy it as such. He did not, however, think 
this was enough to deprive him of all relief. . 7 . 
The defendant could only expect severe terms." 

Yet, Sir, Mr. " Commissioner " Booth-Clibborn, 
this high official of the Salvation Army, has the 
audacity to tell the public that if I had made 
inquiries I should have found that " in the Court 
of Appeal the Judge reversed the decision of his 
predecessor as regards seven eighths of the pro 
perty, and the General was declared to have acted 


all along with straightforwardness and good 

But the nature of Mr. " Commissioner " Booth- 
Clibborn s conceptions of straightforwardness and 
good faith is so marvellously illustrated by the 
portions of his letter with which I have dealt 
that I doubt not his statements are quite up to 
the level of the " Army " Regulations and Instruc 
tions in regard to those cardinal virtues. As I 
pointed out must be the case, the slave is subdued 
to that he works in. 

For myself, I must confess that the process of 
wading through Mr. " Commissioner s " verbose 
and clumsy pleadings has given me a " hot fit," 
which, I undertake to say, will be followed by not 
so much as a passing shiver of repentance. And 
it is under the influence of the genial warmth 
diffused through the frame, on one of those rare 
occasions when one may be " angry and sin not," 
that I infringe my resolution to trouble you with 
no more letters. On reflection, I am convinced 
that it is undesirable that the public should be 
misled, for even a few days, by misrepresentations 
so serious. 

I am copiously abused for speaking of the 
Jesuitical methods of the superior officials of the 
Salvation Army. But the following facts have 
not been, and, I believe, cannot be, denied : 

1. Mr. Booth s conduct in the "Eagle" case 
has been censured by two of the Judges. 


2. Mr. Bramwell Booth admitted before Mr. 
Justice Lopes that he had made an untrue state 
ment because of a promise he had made to Mr. 
Stead. 1 

And I have just proved that Mr. " Commis 
sioner " Booth-Clibborn asserts the exact contrary 
of that which your report of the judgment of the 
Master of the Rolls tells us that distinguished 
judge said. 

Under these circumstances, I think that my 
politeness in applying no harder adjective than 
" Jesuitical " to these proceedings is not properly 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 



The " Times; January 22nd, 1891 

SIR, I think that your readers will be in 
terested in the accompanying opinion, written in 
consultation with an eminent Chancery Queen s 
Counsel, with which I have been favoured. It 
will be observed that this important legal de- 

1 This statement has been disputed, but not yet publicly, 
(See p. 305. ) 


liverance justifies much stronger language than 
any which I have applied to the only security (?) 
for the proper administration of the funds in Mr. 
Booth s hands which appears to be in existence, 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 


January 14, 1891. 


" I am of opinion, subject to the question 
whether there may be any provision in the 
Charitable Trusts Acts which can be made avail 
able for enforcing some scheme for the appropria 
tion of the property, and with regard to the real 
and leasehold properties whether the conveyances 
and leases are not altogether void, as frauds on 
the Mortmain Acts, that nothing can be done to 
control or to interfere with Booth in the disposi 
tion or application of the properties or moneys 
purported to be affected by the deed. 

" As to the properties vested in Booth himself, 
it appears to me that such are placed absolutely 
under his power and control both as to the dis 
posal and application thereof, and that there are no 
trusts for any specific purposes declared which 


could be enforced, and that there are no defined 
persons nor classes of persons who can claim to be 
entitled to the benefit of them, or at whose in 
stance they could be enforced by any legal process. 

" As to the properties (if any) vested in trustees 
appointed by Booth, it appears to me that the 
only person who has a locus stcnidi to enforce these 
trusts is Booth himself, and that he would have 
absolute power over the trusts and the property, 
:nid might deal with the property as he pleased, 
and that, as in the former case, nothing could be 
done in the way of enforcing any trusts against 

" As to the moneys contributed or raised by 
mortgage for the general purposes of the mission, 
it appears to me that Booth may expend them as 
he pleases, without being subject to any legal 
control, and that he cannot even be compelled to 
publish any balance-sheets. 

" Whether there are any provisions in the 
Charitable Trusts Acts which could be made 
available for enforcing sonic si-linm- for the 
application of the property or funds is a question 
to which I should require to give a closer con 
sideration should it become necessary to go into 
it ; but at present, after perusing these Acts, and 
especially 16 and 17 Viet. c. 137 and 18 and 19 
Viet. c. 124, I cannot see how they could be 
made applicable to the trusts as declared in this 


" As to the Mortmain Acts, the matter is clearly 
charitable, and unless in the conveyances and 
leases to Booth, or to the trustees (if any) named 
by him, all the provisions of the Acts have been 
complied with, and the deeds have been enrolled 
under the Acts, they would be void. It is prob 
able, however, that every conveyance and lease has 
been taken without disclosing any charitable trust, 
for the purpose of preventing it from being void 
on the face of it. It is to be noted that the deed 
is a mere deed poll by Booth himself, without any 
other party to it, who, as a contracting party, 
would have a right to enforce it. 

" Whether there are any objects of the trust I 
cannot say. If there is, as the recital indicates, a 
society of enrolled members called The Christian 
Mission/ those members would be objects of the 
trust, but then, it appears to me, Booth has entire 
control and determination of the application. 
And, as to the trusts enuring for the benefit of 
the Salvation Army/ I am not aware what is the 
constitution of the Salvation Army/ but there is 
no reference whatever to any such body in the 
deed. I have understood the army as being 
merely the missionaries, and not the society of 

" If there is no Christian Mission Society of 
enrolled members, then there are no objects of the 
trust. The trusts are purely religious, and trading 
is entirely-beyond its purposes. Booth can give 


away the property, simply because there is no one 
who has any right to prevent his doing so. 


It is probably my want of legal knowledge 
which prevents me from appreciating the value of 
the professed corrections of Mr. Hatton s opinion 
contained in the letters of Messrs. Ranger, Burton, 
and Matthews, " Times," January 28th and 29th, 

The note on page 301 refers to a correspondence, 
incomplete at the time fixed for the publication of 
my pamphlet, the nature of which is sufficiently 
indicated by the subjoined extracts from Mr. 
Stead s letter in the " Times " of January 20th, 
and from my reply in the " Times " of January 
24th. Referring to the paragraphs numbered 1, 
2, at the end of my letter XI., Mr. Stead says : 

" On reading this, I at once wrote to Professor 
Huxley, stating that, as he had mentioned my 
name, I was justified in intervening to explain 
that, so far as the second count in his indictment 
went for the Eagle dispute is no concern of 
mine he had been misled by an error in the 
reports of the case which appeared in the daily 

VOL. ix x 


papers of November 4, 1885. I have his reply 
to-day, saying that I had better write to you 
direct. May I ask you, then, seeing that my 
name has been brought into the affair, to state 
that, as I was in the dock when Mr. Bramwell 
Booth was in the witness-box, I am in a position 
to give the most unqualified denial to the state 
ment as to the alleged admission on his part of 
falsehood ? Nothing was heard in Court of any 
such admission. Neither the prosecuting counsel 
nor the Judge who tried the case ever referred to 
it, although it would obviously have had a direct 
bearing on the credit of the witness; and the 
jury, by acquitting Mr. Bramwell Booth, showed 
that they believed him to be a witness of truth. 
But fortunately the facts can be verified beyond 
all gainsaying by a reference to the official short 
hand-writer s report of the evidence. During the 
hearing of the case for the prosecution, Inspector 
Borner was interrupted by the Judge, who 
said : 

" I want to ask you a question. During the 
whole of that conversation, did Booth in any way 
suggest that that child had been sold ? Borner 
replied : 

" * Not at that interview, my Lord/ 

" It was to this that Mr. Bramwell Booth 
referred when, after examination, cross-examina- 


tion, and re-examination, during which no 
suggestion had been made that he had ever 
made the untrue statement now alleged against 
him, he asked and received leave from the Judge 
to make the following explanation, which I quote 
from the official report : 

" * Will you allow me to explain a matter men 
tioned yesterday in reference to a question asked 
by your Lordship some days ago with respect to 
one matter connected with my conduct ? Your 
Lordship asked, I think it was Inspector Borner, 
whether I had said to him at either of our inter 
views that the child was sold by her parents, and 
he replied " No." That is quite correct ; I did 
not say so to him, and what I wish to say now is 
that I had been specially requested by Mr. Stead, 
and had given him a promise, that I would not 
under any circumstances divulge the fact of that 
sale to any person which would make it at all 
probable that any trouble would be brought upon 
the persons who had taken part in this investiga 
tion. (Central Criminal Court Reports, Vol. GIL, 
part 612, pp. 1,035-6.) 

" In the daily papers of the following day this 
statement was misreported as follows : 

" I wish to explain, in regard to your Lord 
ship s condemnation of my having said " No " to 

x 2 


Inspector Borner when he asked me whether the 
child had been sold by her parents the reason 
why I stated what was not correct was that I had 
promised Mr. Stead not to divulge the fact of the 
sale to any person which would make it probable 
that any trouble should be brought on persons 
taking part in this proceeding. 

" Hence the mistake into which Professor 
Huxley has unwittingly fallen. 

" I may add that, so far from the statement 
never having been challenged for five years, it 
was denounced as a remarkably striking lie in 
the * War Cry of November 14th, and again the 
same official organ of the Salvation Army of 
November 18th specifically adduced this mis- 
report as an instance of the most disgraceful 
way in which the reports of the trial were garbled 
by some of the papers. What, then, becomes of 
one of the two main pillars of Professor Huxley s 
argument ? " 

In my reply, I point out that, on the 10th of 
January, Mr. Stead addressed to me a letter, 
which commences thus : " I see in the Times 
of this morning that you are about to republish 
your letters on Booth s book." 

I replied to this letter on the 12th of 
January : 


" DEAR MR. STEAD, I charge Mr. Bramwell 
Booth with nothing. I simply quote the Times 
report, the accuracy of which, so far as I know, 
has never been challenged by Mr. Booth. I say 
I quote the Times and not Mr. Hodges, 1 
because I took some pains about the verification 
of Mr. Hodges s citation. 

" I should have thought it rather appertained 
to Mr. Bramwell Booth to contradict a statement 
which refers, not to what you heard, but to what 
he said. However, I am the last person to wish 
to give circulation to a story which may not be 
quite correct ; and I will take care, if you have no 
objection (your letter is marked private ), to 
make public as much of your letter as relates to 
the point to which you have called my attention. 

" I am, yours very faithfully, 

" T. H. HUXLEY." 

To this Mr. Stead answered, under date of 
January 13th, 1891 : 

" DEAR PROFESSOR HUXLEY, I thank you for 
your letter of the 12th inst. I am quite sure you 
would not wish to do any injustice in this matter. 
But, instead of publishing any extract from my 
letter, might I ask you to read the passage as it 

1 This is a slip of the pen. Mr. Hodges had nothing to do 
with the citation of which I made use. 


appears in the verbatim report of the trial which 
was printed day by day, and used by counsel on 
both sides, and by the Judge during the case ? 
I had hoped to have got you a copy to-day, but 
find that I was too late. I shall have it first 
thing to-morrow morning. You will find that it 
is quite clear, and conclusively disposes of the 
alleged admission of untruthfulness. Again 
thanking you for your courtesy, 

" I am, yours faithfully, 

" W. T. STEAD." 

Thus it appears that the letter which Mr. Stead 
wrote to me on the 13th of January does not 
contain one word of that which he says it con 
tains, in the statement which appears in the 
" Times " to-day. Moreover, the letter of mine to 
which Mr. Stead refers in his first communication 
to me is not the letter which appeared on the 
13th, as he states, but that which you published 
on December 27th, 1890. Therefore, it is not 
true that Mr. Stead wrote "at once." On the 
contrary, he allowed nearly a fortnight to elapse 
before he addressed me on the 10th of January 
1891. Furthermore, Mr. Stead suppresses the 
fact that, since the 13th of January, he has had 
in his possession my offer to publish his version of 
the story ; and he leads the reader to suppose that 
my only answer was that he " had better write to 


you direct." All the while, Mr. Stead knows 
perfectly well that I was withheld from making 
public use of his letter of the 10th by nothing but 
my scruples about using a document which was 
marked " private " ; and that he did not give me 
leave to quote his letter of the 10th of January 
until after he had written that which appeared 

And I add : 

As to the subject-matter of Mr. Stead s letter, 
the point which he wishes to prove appears to be 
this that Mr. Bramwell Booth did not make a 
false statement, but that he withheld from the 
officers of justice, pursuing a most serious criminal 
inquiry, a fact of grave importance, which lay 
within his own knowledge. And this because he 
had promised Mr. Stead to keep the fact secret. 
In short, Mr. Bramwell Booth did not say what 
was wrong ; but he did what was wrong. 

I will take care to give every weight to the 
correction. Most people, I think, will consider 
that one of the " main pillars of my argument," 
as Mr. Stead is pleased to call them, has become 
very much strengthened. 



IN referring to the course of action adopted by 
" General " Booth and Mr. Bramwell Booth in 
respect of their legal obligations to other persons, 
or to the criminal and civil law, I have been as 
careful as I was bound to be, to put any diffi 
culties suggested by mere lay common-sense in 
an interrogative or merely doubtful form ; and to 
confine myself, for any positive expressions, to 
citations from published declarations of the 
judges before whom the acts of " General" Booth 
came ; from reports of the Law Courts ; and from 
the deliberate opinions of legal experts. I have 
now some further remarks to make on these 

I. The observations at p. 305 express, with 
due reserve, the impression which the counsel s 
opinions, quoted by " General " Booth s solicitors, 
made on my mind. They were written and sent 
to the printer before I saw the letter from a 
" Barrister not Practising on the Common Law 
Side," and those from Messrs. Clarke and Calkin 
arid Mr. George Kebbell, which appeared in the 
" Times " of February 3rd and 4th. 

These letters fully bear out the conclusion 
which I had formed, but which it would have 


been presumptuous on my part to express, that 
the opinions cited by " General " Booth s solicitors 
were like the famous broken tea-cups " wisely 
ranged for show " ; and that, as Messrs. Clarke 
and Calkin say, they "do not at all meet the 
main points on which Mr. Hatton advised." I 
do not think that any one who reads attentively 
the able letter of " A Barrister not Practising on 
the Common Law Side " will arrive at any other 
conclusion ; or who will not share the very natural 
desire of Mr. Kebbell to be provided with clear 
and intelligible answers to the following in 
quiries : 

(1) Does the trust deed by its operation 
empower any one legally to call upon Mr. Booth 
to account for the application of the funds ? 

(2) In the event of the funds not being properly 
accounted for, is any one, and, if so, who, in a 
position to institute civil or criminal proceedings 
against any one, and whom, in respect of such 
refusal or neglect to account ? 

(3) In the event of the proceedings, civil or 
criminal, failing to obtain restitution of misapplied 
funds, is or are any other person or persons liable 
to make good the loss ? 

On December 24th, 1890, a letter of mine 
appeared in the " Times" (No. V. above) in which 
I put questions of the same import, and asked 
Mr. Booth if he would not be so good as to take 
counsel s opinion on the " trusts " of which so 


much has been heard and so little seen, not as 
they stood in 1878, or in 1888, but as they stand 
now ? Six weeks have elapsed, and I wait for a 

It is true that Dr. Greenwood has been author 
ized by Mr. Booth to publish what he calls a 
" Rough outline of the intended Trust Deed " 
("General Booth and His Critics," p. 120), but 
unfortunately we are especially told that it " docs 
not profess to be an absolutely accurate analysis! 
Under these circumstances I am afraid that, 
neither lawyers nor laymen of moderate intelli 
gence will pay much attention to the assertion, 
that " it gives a fair idea of the general effect of 
iht draft" even although "the words in quotation 
marks arc taken from it verbatim" 

These words, which I give in italics, (1) define 
the purposes of the scheme to be "for the social 
and moral regeneration and improvement of persons 
needy, destitute, degraded, or criminal, in some 
manner indicated, implied, or suggested in the book 
called In Darkest Engla.nd! " Whence I appre 
hend that, if the whole funds collected are applied 
to " mothering society " by the help of speculative 
attorney " tribunes of the people," the purposes 
of the trust will be unassailably fulfilled. (2) 
The name is to be " Darkest England Scheme" (3) 
the General of the Salvation Army is to be 
" Director of the Scheme" Truly valuable inform 
ation all this ! But taking it for what it is worth , 


the public must not be misled into supposing 
that it has the least bearing upon the questions 
to which neither I, nor anybody else, has yet been 
able to obtain an intelligible answer, and that 
is, where are the vast funds which have been 
obtained, in one way or another, during the last 
dozen years in the name of the Salvation Army ? 
Where is the presumably amended Trust Deed of 
1888 ? I ask once more : Will Mr. Booth submit 
to competent and impartial legal scrutiny the 
arrangements by which he and his successors are 
prevented from dealing with the funds of the 
so-called " army chest " exactly as he or they may 
please ? 

II. With respect to the " Eagle " case, I am 
advised that Dr. Greenwood, whose good faith I 
do not question, has been misled into misrepre 
senting it in the appendix to his pamphlet. And 
certainly, the evidence of authoritative records 
which I have had the opportunity of perusing, 
appears to my non-legal mind to be utterly at 
variance with the statement to which Dr. Green 
wood stands committed. I may observe, further, 
that the excuse alleged on behalf of Mr. Booth, 
that he signed the affidavit set before him by his 
solicitors without duly considering its contents, is 
one which I should not like to have put forward 
were the case my own. It may be, and often is, 
necessary for a person to sign an affidavit without 


being able fully to appreciate the technical 
language in which it is couched. But his 
solicitor will always instruct him as to the effect 
of these terms. And, in this particular case, 
where the whole matter turns on Mr. Booth s 
personal intentions, it was his plainest duty to 
inquire, very seriously, whether the legal phrase 
ology employed would convey neither more nor 
less than such intentions to those who would act 
on the affidavit, before he put his name to it. 

III. With respect to Mr. Bramwell Booth s 
case, I refer the reader to p. 311. 

IV. As to Mr. Booth -Clibborn s misrepresenta 
tions, see above, pp. 298, 299. 

This much for the legal questions which have 
been raised by various persons since the first 
edition of the pamphlet was published. 


So far as I am concerned, there is little or 
nothing in this brochure beyond a reproduction of 
the vituperative stuff which has been going tho 
round of those newspapers which favour " General " 
Booth for some weeks. Those who do not want 
to see the real worth of it all will not read the 


preceding pages ; and those who do will need no 
help from me. 

I fear, however, that in justice to other people 
I must put one of Dr. Greenwood s paragraphs in 
the pillory. He says that I have " built up, on 
the flimsy foundation of stories told by three or 
four deserters from the Army " (p. 114), a sweeping 
indictment against General Booth. This is the 
sort of thing to which I am well accustomed at 
the hands of anonymous newspaper writers. But 
in view of the following easily verifiable state 
ments, I do not think that an educated and, I 
have no doubt, highly respectable gentleman like 
Dr. Greenwood can, in cold blood, contemplate 
that assertion with satisfaction. 

The persons here alluded to as " three or four 
deserters from the army " are : 

(1) Mr. Redstone, for whose character Dr. 
Cunningham Geikie is guarantee, and whom it 
has been left to Dr. Greenwood to attempt to 

(2) Mr. Sumner, who is a gentleman quite as 
worthy of respect as Dr. Greenwood, and whose 
published evidence not one of the champions of 
the Salvation Army has yet ventured to impugn. 

(3) Mr. Hodges, similarly libelled by that un 
happy meddler Mr. Trotter, who was compelled 
to the prompt confession of his error (see p. 277). 

(4) Notwithstanding this evidence of Mr. 
Trotter s claims to attention, Dr. Greenwood 


quotes a statement of his as evidence that a 
statement quoted by me from Mr. Simmer s 
work is a " forgery." But Dr. Greenwood un 
fortunately forgets to mention that on the 27th 
of December 1890 (Letter No. VII. above) Mr. 
Trotter was publicly required to produce proof 
of his assertion ; and that he has not thought fit 
to produce that proof. 

If I were disposed to use to Dr. Greenwood 
language of the sort he so freely employs to me, 
I think that he could not complain of a handsome 
scolding. For what is the real state of the case ? 
Simply this that having come to the conclusion, 
from the perusal of " In Darkest England," that 
" General " Booth s colossal scheme (as apart from 
the local action of Salvationists) was bad in 
principle and must produce certain evil conse 
quences, and having warned the public to that 
effect, I quite unexpectedly found my hands full 
of evidence that the exact evils predicted had, in 
fact, already shown themselves on a great scale ; 
and, carefully warning the public to criticise this 
evidence, I produced a small part of it. When 
Dr. Greenwood talks about my want of " regard to 
the opinion of the nine thousand odd who still 
remain among the faithful" (p. 114), he commits 
an imprudence. He would obviously be surprised 
to learn the extent of the support, encouragement, 
and information which I have received from 
active and sincere members of the Salvation 


Army but of which I can make no use, because 
of the terroristic discipline and systematic es 
pionage which my correspondents tell me is en 
forced by its chief. Some of these days, when 
nobody can be damaged by their use, a curious 
light may be thrown upon the inner workings of 
the organization which we are bidden to regard 
as a happy family, by these documents. 



To be signed by all iclio wish to be entered on the roll as soldiers 

HAVING received with all my heart the Salvation offered to 
me by the tender mercy of Jehovah, I do here and now publicly 
acknowledge God to be my Father and King, Jesus Christ to be 
my Saviour, and the Holy Spirit to be my Guide, Comforter, 
and Strength ; and that I will, by His help, lovo, serve, worship, 
and obey this glorious God through all time and through all 

BELIEVING solemnly that The Salvation Army has been raised 
up by God, and is sustained and dim-tod by Him, I do here 
declare my full determination, by God s help, to be a true soldier 
of the Army till I die. 

I am thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Army s 

I believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and conversion by the Holy Spirit, arc 
necessaiy to Salvation, and that all men may be saved, 

I believe that wo are saved by grace, through faith in 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and he that believeth hath the 
witness of it in himself. I have got it. Thank God ! 

I believe that the Scriptures were given by inspiration of 
God, and that they teach that not only does continu 
ance in the favour of God depend upon continued faith 
in, and obedience to, Christ, but that it is possible for 
those who have been truly converted to fall away ami 
be eternally lost. 


I believe that it is the privilege of all God s people to be 
wholly sanctified," and that " their whole spirit and 
soul and body " may " be preserved blameless unto the 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." That is to say, I 
believe that after conversion there remain in the heart 
of the believer inclinations to evil, or roots of 1 titter- 
ness, which, unless overpowered by Divine grace, pro 
duce actual bin ; but these evil tendencies can be 
entirely taken away by the Spirit of God, and the 
whole heart thus cleansed from anything contrary to 
the will of God, or entirely sanctified, will then produce 
the fruit of the Spirit only. And I believe that persons 
thus entirely sanctified may, by the power of God, be 
kept unblamable and unreprovable before Him. 

I believe in the immortality of the soul ; in the resur 
rection of the body ; in the general judgment at the 
end of the world ; in the eternal happiness of th<- 
righteous ; and in the everlasting punishment of the 

THEREFORE, I do here, and now, and for ever, renounce the 
world with all its sinful pleasures, companionships, treasures, 
and objects, and declare my full determination boldly to show 
myself a Soldier of Jesus Christ in all places and companies, no 
matter what I may have to suffer, do, or lose, by so doing. 

I do here and now declare that I will abstain from the use of 
all intoxicating liquors, and also from the habitual use of opium, 
laudanum, morphia, and all other baneful drugs, except when 
in illness such drugs shall be ordered for me by a doctor. 

I do here and now declare that I will abstain from the use of 
all low or profane language ; from the taking of the name of 
God in vain ; and from all impurity, or from taking part in any 
unclean conversation or the reading of any obscene book or 
paper at any time, in any company, or in any place. 

I do here declare that I will not allow myself in any falsehood, 
deceit, misrepresentation, or dishonesty ; neither will I practise 
any fraudulent conduct, either in my business, my home, or in 
any other relation in which I may stand to my fellow men, but 


that I will deal truthfully, fairly, honourably, and kindly with 
all those who may employ me or whom I may-myself employ. 

I do here declare that I will never treat any woman, child, or 
other person, whose life, comfort, or happiness may be placed 
within my power, in an oppressive, cruel, or cowardly manner, 
but that I will protect such from evil and danger so far as I can, 
and promote, to the utmost of my ability, their present welfare 
and eternal salvation. 

I do here declare that I will spend all the time, strength, 
money, and influence I can in supporting and carrying on this 
War, and that I will endeavour to lead my family, friends, 
neighbours, and all others whom I can influence, to do the 
same, believing that the sure and only way to remedy all the 
evils in the world is by bringing men to submit themselves to 
the government of the Lord .U-sus Christ. 

I do here declare that I will always obey the lawful orders of 
my Officers, and that I will carry out to the utmost of my power 
all the Orders and Regulations of The Army ; and further, that 
I will be an example of faithfulness to its principles, advance to 
the utmost of my ability its operations, and never allow, where 
I can prevent it, any injury to its interests or hindrance to its 

AND I do hero and now call upon all present to witness that 
I enter into this undertaking and sign these Articles of War of 
my own free will, feeling that the love of Christ who died to 
save me requires from me this devotion of my life to His service 
for the Salvation of the whole world, and therefore wish now to 
be enrolled as a Soldier of the Salvation Army. 

_CORPS__ 18 

Y 2 


......................... Coj ps. 

........................... Division. 

........................... 18 




Name ..................................................... 

1 . What was your AGE last birthday ? ............... What is 

the date of your birthday ? ....................................... 

2. What is your height ? .............................................. 

3. Are you free from bodily defect or disease ? ............ ...... . . 

4. What serious illnesses have you had, and when ? ............ 

5. Have you ever had fits of any kind ? ..................... I f so 

how long ago, and what kind ? ................................. 

6. Do you consider your health good, and that you are strong 

enough for the work of an Officer ? .................. If not, 

or if you are doubtful, write a letter and explain the 
matter. ............................................................... 

7. Is your doctor s certificate a full and correct statement so 

far as you know? ...................................... ......... 

8. Are you, or have you ever been married ? ........................ 


9. When and where CONVERTED ? 

10. What other Religious Societies have you belonged to ? 

11. Were you ever a Junior Soldier ? If so, how long 

12. How long have you been enrolled as a SOLDIER .- 

and signed Articles of War? 

l:j. If you hold any office in your Corps, say what, and how 
long held? 

1 1. Do you intend to live and die in the ranks of the Salvation 

1 .".. Have you ever been an open BACKSLIDER ? If 

so, how long ? 

1 1). Why \ Date of your Restoration ? 

17. Arc you in DEBT \ If so, how much ? 


18. How long owing ? What for ? 

19. Did you ever use Intoxicating Drink If so, how 

long is it since you entirely gave up its use 

20. Did you ever use Tobacco or Snuff If so, how 

long is it since you gave up using cither ? 

21. What UNIFORM do you wear \ 

22. How long have you worn it ? 

2-J. Do you agree to dress in accordance with the direction of 
Headquarters ? 

21. Can you provide your own uniform and " List of Neces 
saries " before entering the Service ? 

25. Are you in a Situation ? If so, how long 

26. Nature of duties, and salary 

27. Name and address of employer ? 


28. If out, date of leaving last situation ? ..................... I low 

long there . ........................................................ 

20. Why did you leave? ................................................... 

30. Name and address of last employer ? ............ v ................ 

31. Can you start the SINGING ? 

32. Can you play any musical instrument .- If so, what . 

33. Is this form filled up by you ? Can you read wt-11 

at first sight ? 

31. Can you write SHORTHAND ? If so, what speed 

and system ? 

35. Can you speak any language other than English ? It 

so, what ? 

3o\ Have you had any experience and success in the JTXIOK 

37. If so, what? 

38. Are you willing to sell the " WAR CRY " on Sundays \ ... 

30. Do you engage not to publish any books, songs, or musi- 1 
except for the benefit of the Salvation Army, and then 
only with the consent of I leadqiiarters ? 

40. Do you promise not to "engage in any trade, profession, or 

other money-making occupation, except for the benefit of 
the Salvation Army, and then only with the consent of 

41. Would you be willing to go ABROAD if required { 

42. Do you promise to do your utmost to help forward the 

Junior Soldiers work if accepted ? 

43. Do you pledge yourself to spend not less than nine hours 

every day in the active service of the Army, of which not 
less than three hours of each week-day shall be spent in 


41. Do you pledge yourself to lill up ami send to Headquarters 
forms as to how your day is spent ? 

45. Have you read, and do you believe, the DOCTRINES printed 
on the other side ? 

4t>. Have you read the "Orders and Regulations for Field 
Officers" of the Army . 

If you have not got a copy of "Orders inul Reflations," {jet one from 
Candidates Department at once. The price to Candidates is 2*. Gd. 

47. Do you pledge yourself to study and carry out and to endea 

vour to train others to carry out all Orders and Regulations 
of the Army ( , 

48. Have you read the Order on page 3 of this Form as to 

PRESENTS and TESTIMONIALS, aiid do you engage 
to carry it out ? 

41 . Do you pledge yourself never to receive any sum in the form 
of pay beyond the amount of allowances granted under the 
scale which follows ? 

ALLOWANCES From the day of arrival at his station, each 
officer is entitled to draw the following allowances, pro 
vided the amount remains in hand after meeting all local 
expenses, namely : For Single Men : Lieutenants, 16s. 
weekly, and Captains, 18s. ; for Single Women: Lieuten 
ants, 12s. weekly, and Captains, 15s. weekly ; Married 
Men, 27s. per week, and Is. per week for each child under 
14 years of age; in all cases without house-rent. 
50. Do you perfectly understand that no salary or allowance is 
guaranteed to you, and that you will have no claim 
against the Salvation Army, or against any one connected 
therewith, on account of salary or allowances not received 
by you? 

51. Have you ever APPLIED BEFORE? If so, 

when ? 

62. With what result . . 


53. If you have ever been in the service of the Salvation Army 

in any position, say what? 

54. Why did you leave ? 

55. Arc you willing to come into TRAINING that we may see 

whether you have the necessary goodness and ability for 
an Officer in the Salvation Army, and should we conclude 
that you have not the necessary qualifications, do you 
pledge yourself to return home and work in your Corps 
without creating any dissatisfaction ? 

56. Will you pay your own travelling expenses if we decide to 

receive you in Training? 

57. How much can you pay for your maintenance while in 

Training ? 

58. Can you deposit 1 so that we can provide you with a suit 

of Uniform when you are Commissioned ? 

59. What is the shortest NOTICE you require should we want 


GO. Are your PARENTS willing that you should become an 

61. Does any one depend upon you for support? If so, 


62. To what extent? 

63. Give your parents , or nearest living relatives , full address 

Gi. Are you COURTING? If so, give name and 

address of the person 

65. How long have you been engaged ? What is the 

person s age ? 

66. What is the date of Birthday? How long enrolled 

as a SOLDIER? 

67. What Uniform does the person wear ? How long 

worn? ... 


68. What docs the person do in the Corps ? 

69. Has the person applied for the work? 

70. If not, when does the person intend doing so ? 

71. Do the parents agree to the person coining into Train 

ing ? 

72. Do you understand that you may not be allowed to marry 
until three years after your appointment as an Officer, and 
do you engage to abide by this ? 

7l>. If you are not courting, do you pledge yourself to abstain 
from anything of the kind during Training and for at 
least twelve months after your appointment as a Com 
missioned Field Officer ? 

71. Do you pledge yourself not to cany on courtship with any 
one at the station to which you are at the time 
appointed ? 

75. Do you pledge yourself never to commence, or allow to 
commence, or break off anything of the sort, without 
first informing your Divisional Officer, or Headquarters, 
of your intention to do so ? 

70. Do you pledge yourself never to many any one marriage 
with whom would take you out of the Army alto 

77. Have you read, and do you agree to carry out, the following 
Regulations as to Courtship and Marriage ? 

(a) " Officers must inform their Divisional Officer or Head- 

quarters of their desire to enter into or break off any 
engagement, and no Officer is permitted to enter 
into or break off an engagement without the consent 
of his or her D.O. 

(b) " Officers will not be allowed to carry on any courtship 

in the Town in which they are appointed ; nor until 
twelve months after the date of their Commission. 


(c) " Headquarters cannot consent to the engagement of 

Male Lieutenants, until their Divisional Officer is 
prepared to recommend them for command of a 
Station as Captain. 

(d) " Ik fore Headquarters am consent to the marriage of 

any Oiiicer, the Divisional Ofiicer must be prepared 
to give him three stations as a married man. 

(c) "No Officer accepted will le allowed to marry until 
he or she has been at least three years in the lield, 
except in eases of long-standing engagements before 
application for the work. 

(/) " No Male Officer will, under any circumstances, be 
allowed to many before he is twenty- two years of 
age, unless required by Headquarters for special 

(y) "Headquarters will not agree to the Marriage of any 
Male Officer (except under extraordinary circum 
stances) until twelve months after consenting to hi.s 

(/) " Consent will not l>e given to the engagement of any 
male Officer unless the young woman is likely to 
make u suitable wife for an Officer, and (if not already 
an Ofiicer) is prepared to come into Training at once. 

(i) "Consent will be given to engagements between Female 
Officers and Soldiers, on condition that the latter 
are suitable for Officers, and are willing U> come into 
Training if called upon. 

(j) "Consent will never be given to any engagement or 
marriage which would take an Officer out of the 

(k) " Every Officer must sign before marriage the Articles 
of Marriage, contained in the Orders and Regulations 
for Field Officers." 



1. Officers aro expected to refuse utterly, and to prevent, if 
possible, even the proposal of any present or testimonial to 

2, Of course, an Officer who is receiving no salary, or only 
part salary, may accept food or other gifts, such as arc needed 
to meet his wants ; but it is dishonourable for any one who is 
receiving their salary to accept gifts of food alto. 


The principal Doctrines taught in the Army are as follows : 

1. Wo believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament were given by inspiration of God, and that they only 
constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice. 

2. We believe there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, 
the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things. 

J. We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence, 
coequal iu power and glory, and the only proper object of 
religious worship. 

4. We believe that, in the person of Jesus Christ, the Divine 
and human natures are united, so that lie is truly and properly 
God, and truly and properly man. 

5. We believe that our first parents were created in a state of 
innoceney, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and 
happiness ; and that, in consequence of their fall, all men have 
become sinners, totally depraved, and as such arc justly exposed 
to the wrath of God. 

6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has, by His suffering 
and death, made an atonement for the whole world, so that 
whosoever will may be saved. 

7. We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary 
to Salvation. 


8. We believe that we are justified by grace, through faith in 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and that he that bclieveth hath the 
witness in himself. 

9. We believe the Scriptures teach that not only does con 
tinuance in the favour of God depend upon continued faith in, 
and obedience to, Christ, but that it is possible for those who 
have been truly converted to fall away and be eternally lost. 

10. We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to !>< 
" wholly sanctified," and that "the whole spirit and soul and 
bady " may "l>e preserved blameless unto the coining of our 
Lord Jesus Christ." That is to say, we believe that after con 
version there remain in the heart of the believer inclinations to 
evil, or roots of bitterness, which, unless overpowered by Divine 
grace, produce actual sin ; but that these evil tendencies can be 
entirely taken away by the Spirit of God, and the whole heart, 
thus cleansed from everything contrary to the will of Cfod, or 
entirely sanctified, will then produce the fruit of the Spirit only. 
And we believe that persons thus entirely sanctified may, by 
the power of God, be kept unblamable and unimprovable before 

11. We believe in the immortality of the soul ; in the resur 
rection of the body ; in the general Judgment at the end of the 
world ; in the eternal happiness of the righteous ; and in the 
everlasting punishment of the wicked. 



1 HEREBY DECLARE that I will never, on any considera 
tion, do anything calculated to injure The Salvation Army, and 
especially, that I will never, without first having obtained thu 
consent of The General, take any part in any religious services 
or in carrying on services held in opposition to the Army. 

I PLEDGE MYSELF to make true records, daily, on the 
forms supplied to me, of what I do, and to confess, as far as I 
am concerned, and to report, as far as I may see in others, any 
neglect or variation from the orders or ^directions of The 

I FULLY UNDERSTAND that he does not undertake to 
employ or to retain in the service of The Army any one who 
does not appear to him to be fitted for the work, or faithful and 
successful in it ; and I solemnly pledge myself quietly to leave 
any Army Station to which I may be sent, without making any 
attempt to disturb or annoy The Army in any way, should The 
General desire me to do so. And I hereby discharge The Army 
and The General from all liability, and pledge myself to make 
no claim on account of any situation, property, or interest I may 
give up in order to secure an engagement in The Army. 

I understand that The General will not be responsible in any 
way for any loss I may suffer in consequence of being dismissed 
from Training ; as I am aware that the Cadets are received into 
Training for the very purpose of testing their suitability for the 
work of Salvation Army Officers. 

I hereby declare that the foregoing answers appear to me to 
fully express the truth as to the questions put to me, and that 
I know of no other facts which would prevent my engagement 
by The General, if they were known to him. 

Candidate to sign here 



1. All Candidates are expected to fill up and sign this form 
themselves, if they can write at nil. 

2. You are expected to have obtained and read " Orders and 
Regulations for Field Oflicers" before you make this application. 

3. Making this application does NOT imply that we can 
receive you as an officer, and you are, therefore, NOT to leave 
your home, or give notice to leave your situation, until you hear 
again from us. 

4. If you are appointed as an Officer, or received into Training, 
and it is afterwards discovered that any of the questions in this 
form have not l>een truthfully answered, you will be instantly 

f>. If you do not understand any question in this form, or if 
you do not agree to any of the requirements stated upon it, 
return it to Headquarters, and sny so in a straightforward 

6. Make the question for this appointment a matter of earnest 
prayer, as it is the most important st-p you have taken since 
your conversion. 

We must have i/ur 1 lmta. Please endow it with your forms, 
and rtf7 //v.s\? flu m " Candidate Department," 101, Queen Vi<-ir t,i 
Street, London, E.C 


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